Many women take birth control pills to avoid unplanned pregnancy. However, they are not too happy when they believe that the oral contraceptives are causing weight gain. While it’s an undeniable fact that these pills can cause some women to have weight problems, they are not necessarily the primary cause for everyone. This article will give some information on birth control pills and weight gain.
First, it’s important to note the birth control pill had been a big hit during the early sixties. This method of birth control is still quite popular today with many formulations and brands available. Nevertheless, there are some misconceptions and half-truths about birth control pills, especially as it relates to weight gain.
Birth Control Pills and Weight Gain
Birth control pills have been linked to certain side effects, with the most common being nausea, headache, breast tenderness, and breakthrough bleeding. This method of contraception might cause some women to gain weight, which is often a result of fluid retention. However, this weight gain will be nominal and won’t affect most women.
Recent studies show that the nominal change has been associated with the low estrogen or low-dose pills. It is also possible to gain a few extra pounds while using the pill but this will not necessarily be an alarming situation. Besides that, like other possible side effects of birth control pills, the minimal weight gain will be temporary and could go away in two or three months.
Some analysts have also highlighted that 5 to 10% women gain a few pounds when taking pills, but similar amount who gain weight will not do so because of the pills. Their weight gain can be caused by fluid retention and fat deposition.
Even though weight gain is a temporary and an uncommon side effect of birth control pill, you should talk to your doctor if you have been putting on some extra pounds. Your doctor might recommend a different type because all birth control pills are not equal.
There are basically two types of pills for birth control, the combination one that contains progestin and estrogen, as well as the one with only progestin. Most of the birth control pills have the same form of estrogen in different doses, but each can have a different progestin formulation. This means that every brand of pill might offer a hormone that is slightly different and at varying doses. Of course, this could result in side effects which are potentially different.
We will now take a look at the amount of weight that you could possible gain when taking a birth control pill.
It is usually said that oral contraceptives can cause weight gain if you are using higher dosages of estrogen pills (over 30 mcgm). Studies have shown that women who use high dose pills often gain about 5.3 pounds in a year. Nevertheless, some analysts have discovered that only around 7% of women who take pills end up gaining bodyweight of over 10%. Most of the latest studies done on the pills with low levels of estrogen hormone have shown no change or weight loss if use is continued for a year.
One cannot deny that pills with high doses of estrogen might lead to fluid retention, especially when a pill contains estrogen of 50 mcgm or more. This happens because the high doses of estrogen will stimulate some kidney substances such as renin-angiotensin. This is responsible for the water retention that causes salt or sodium retention and ultimately weight gain. The studies done on different levels of the estrogen-based pills shows that the pills with estrogen of less than 20 mcgm reduces weight, the ones with 30 mcgm make no difference in nominal weight loss or weight, while the 50 mcgm ones causes weight gain and fluid retention.
If you have gained over 5% of bodyweight in a year while taking birth control pill, it might be caused by abnormal glucose metabolism or how your body is reacting to insulin resistance. In this case, you need to take to your healthcare professional in order to get suggestions for adopting a low carbohydrate diet as meals with high amounts of sugar will offset your efforts to control your weight. Aside from that, you could do your own research to look at comparative studies of the different hormone levels in different birth control pills.
At this point it’s also worth mentioning that the myths of birth control pills start years ago when very high levels of progestin and estrogen were added to these products. The amount was one thousand times more than the hormones that most women need. Today, the birth control pills contain lower levels of hormones and they are still rated among the most effective methods when used the right way.
The above-mentioned information on birth control pills and weight gain must not be taken as any medical advice, so you need to consult your physician or doctor to get the best recommendations.