Does Birth Control Affect Your Body Weight?
May 9, 2022
May 9, 2022
Birth control is the collective term for a series of methods to prevent pregnancy. It is also known as contraception. It works by preventing sperm from fusing with the ova. There are various birth control methods. It includes contraceptive pills, barriers, and surgical interventions.
Birth control medications tend to cause changes in body weight in some segments of the women population. Some women said that they gained weight, while others reported losing weight. There are combined contraceptives that increase appetite. And few hormonal contraceptives cause weight gain by fluid retention and increased body fat. This article elaborates on the cause of change in body weight following birth control pills.
Birth control methods differ in their onset of action, efficiency, adverse effects, and way of use. The various techniques are selected based on certain factors. It includes your age, overall health, medical history, prevailing health conditions, etc. It also depends on how long you should prevent pregnancy.
Hormonal contraceptives contain a small amount of human-made oestrogen and progestin hormones to restrict ovulation. Examples are oral contraceptive pills, vaginal rings, shots, patches, implants, and intrauterine devices (IUD). Besides birth control, hormonal contraceptives treat hormonal imbalances. It helps with Polycystic Ovary disorders (PCOS), endometriosis, dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation.
Hormones in contraceptive pills prevent pregnancy by the following mechanism:
Barrier methods inhibit the sperm from reaching the uterus. Condoms, diaphragm, spermicides, and more are the barrier methods.
Emergency birth control is for instances of unprotected sex. It includes emergency contraceptive pills.
LARC consists of intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants. They are inserted or implanted into your body and offer a long-term effect. It lasts for years.
Sterilization is a surgical birth control procedure and is permanent. For women, tubal ligation closes off the fallopian tubes. As a result, it keeps the sperm from reaching the egg. In a vasectomy for men, the vas deferens tubes are cut and tied to prevent the release of sperm into the semen. Unfortunately, sterilization is not successfully reversible. There also is no guarantee that you will be able to become pregnant afterwards.
There is no standard birth control method suitable for everyone. You need to weigh the pros and cons and then decide. However, your doctor can help you with the best way that works based on the following:
Certain studies show that women have gained little weight with contraceptive methods. A combination pill is more likely to cause weight gain because it contains oestrogen. In addition, it includes hormonal combinations of drugs and patches. Excess oestrogen may cause your body to retain water. Theoretically, it may be due to fluid retention and fat deposits. However, there is no concrete evidence that permanent weight gain occurs from birth control.
Increased appetite is another symptom noticed in some women who are frequent with contraceptive pills. Therefore, you can check with your doctor for an alternative method. Non-hormonal pills, condoms, cervical caps, and diaphragms are not associated with undesirable weight gain. Moreover, a healthy and nutritious diet along with less salt helps to regulate weight following contraceptive methods. High salt or sodium levels while taking a hormonal birth control pill may cause water retention. People misunderstand it as weight gain.
Weight gain may result from fluid retention, hormonal imbalance, and body fat distribution. However, this is reversible, and such changes reverse on cessation of the birth control pills.
Progesterone is a hormone content in birth control pills:
Hunger hormones promote cravings during your menstrual period. Similarly, you may experience changes in your appetite with contraceptive pills. Thus, a weight loss may not be effective as long as you are on regular contraceptive drugs.
Similarly, hormone levels may vary during puberty and menopause, affecting the body’s composition. For example, adolescent females taking birth control pills for acne might see weight changes. However, it can be due to their puberty related hormonal changes and not directly related to the birth control pills. In addition, hormones may impact your food cravings during the menstrual cycle. Additionally, some people with hormonal pills may develop bloating or changes in the fat amount and distribution across the body. Again, this creates an experience of weight gain.
Study shows that being overweight or obese may affect the efficiency of hormonal birth control pills. Moreover, obese women are likely to experience infertility to a more significant extent. Obesity imbalances the metabolism. Thus, it poses multiple challenges to women, including weight gain. Thus, causing irregular menstruation and ovulation.
Moreover, they are at high risk for diseases associated with hormonal imbalances. Polycystic ovarian disease is one of them. It is one of the causes of infertility. In some women, taking birth control pills affects the body’s calorie-burning rate. As a result, it contributes to changes in your weight. Birth control pills do not lead to obesity. However, their rate of action slows down in obese women.
Avoiding possible birth control-related weight gain is similar to the steps taken for healthy weight management. If a woman is concerned about birth control pills causing gain weight, she should talk to her doctor. A doctor may recommend medications with a lower hormone dose to lose weight.
Other methods to prevent underside weight gain during contraceptive pills course are:
Ensure a low fat, low calories and high protein diet. Include more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fatty fish. Fruits and vegetables are high in dietary fibres, helping to keep you satiated for a longer duration. High satiety prevents you from overeating or unhealthy bingeing. Moreover, they also contain essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds that suppress oxidative stress on cells. Oxidative stress is responsible for weight gain. Moreover, the fibres bind with unhealthy fats or cholesterol. This binding facilitates the easy elimination of fats from the body. Fat elimination prevents unwanted fatty tissue buildup that tends to add to your weight.
Additionally, arginine is a compound present in most fruits, especially watermelon. Therefore, arginine has the potential properties to burn fat. Sticking to 1,200 and 1,500 calories per day for women is one way to lose weight while taking birth control pills.
A variety of seafood is dense in Omega 3 fatty acids. Therefore, they effectively enhance the High-Density Lipids HDL or good cholesterol in your body. Omega 3 fatty acids also prevent unhealthy fat distribution or accumulation in the body. In addition, study shows that Omega 3 fatty acids help fertility. Besides, they regulate the hormones associated with ovulation, Blood circulation to the uterus and other reproductive organs. Thus, enhancing overall reproductive health may have been imbalanced due to the long-term use of contraceptive pills.
Additionally, refrain from junk foods, refined food products, excess sugar, and salts. The saturated and trans fat present can contribute to obesity and weight gain.
Exercise is essential for overall health, but it becomes even more important when losing weight. For example, a study shows normal, brisk walking or jogging for at least 20 minutes helps weight loss. Some examples are swimming, walking, running, cycling, and yoga.
Drink plenty of water and other fluids like fresh juices. It helps limit bloating. Bloating gives a feeling of increased body weight. Moreover, when you are well hydrated, you may not feel a craving for snacks.
No birth control method claims to be 100 percent effective or safe. Every way has its pros and cons. The adverse effects of hormonal birth control are nothing different. Therefore, check with your health care provider before adopting any hormone-induced contraceptives. The adverse effects include:
Birth control is an effective method to prevent pregnancy. There are different methods of contraception. However, hormonal contraceptives may cause a change in your body weight. Therefore, it can be weight gain and weight loss. Nonetheless, the weight difference is from water retention and body fat distribution. Resorting to non-hormonal contraceptive methods can prevent such side effects.
Weight loss from birth control pills is due to the diuretic properties of certain hormones. The elimination of fluid content results in body weight loss, causing a misconception about pills induced weight loss. Age, dietary patterns, and physical activity can be other factors for weight gain. There is no scientific proof that these drugs cause weight loss or gain. Additionally, there are multiple methods to control body weight. A healthy diet and regular exercise effectively manage body weight while taking birth control pills.
A. No, it is not hard to lose weight. It is possible to lose weight while on the birth control pill, but every woman’s body is different. Start by eating healthy and moving around more. If you’ve been having food cravings, it may be helpful to keep a daily calorie limit.
A. Not all birth control pills are created equal. For example, some women experience weight gain after taking progestin-only birth control. However, a combination of medications with progestin and oestrogen is more likely to influence your weight. But the effects of hormonal pills on weight are not permanent and do not cause a significant weight gain.
A. No birth control does not cause obesity. However, it may cause weight gain. It is due to the progestin and oestrogen enhancing appetite and fluid retention. Weight gain from taking birth control pills is rare and is a temporary side effect. It’s often water weight, not extra fat. Thus, birth control pills are not causative factors of obesity. But these pills do fail to work appropriately among obese women.
A. It reduces with the cessation of hormone-induced birth control drugs. Moreover, you can make lifestyle modifications. It includes a healthy and nutritious diet and regular workouts.
A. Female sterilisation or tubal ligations is the healthiest and safe contraceptive method. It does not affect your hormone levels. Moreover, it is almost 100 percent effective. But conceding is next to impossible after sterilisation. Abstinence is another safe birth control that is safe and effective.
A. No, birth control pills do not cause weight loss in PCOS. However, they are effective in the treatment of Polycystic Ovarian syndrome.
A. Some women can experience weight gain with hormonal birth pills due to water retention. As a result, it alters the fat distribution in the face.
A. Non-hormonal contraceptives are free of hormones. They include intrauterine devices, surgical sterilisation and likewise. They are practical and protect you from the side effects of hormonal birth control.