Why Some Women Gain Weight on Birth Control

Have you thought about going on birth control but you are reluctant to do it because you have heard that some women end up gaining weight when they do? Or perhaps you are someone who has already used birth control and gained weight but you don’t know why this happened to you. Either way, we have some answers below so that you can better understand why some women will gain extra weight when they use birth control. 

 

Experts Aren’t Totally Sure

 

First off, it is important to note that experts are not entirely sure why some women end up gaining weight when they go on birth control, whether they are using a vaginal ring, using a patch, taking pills, or using an IUD. Ultimately, though, every woman has different hormone levels so different women may respond differently to the same type of birth control. As a result, you won’t really know how a particular form of birth control will affect you and your weight until you actually start using it. 

 

Estrogen’s Role in Weight Gain

 

Women who use birth control products that contain estrogen as the main ingredient are most likely to end up with some weight gain. But the good news is that it is likely going to just be water weight because the estrogen could lead to fluid retention. The good news is that this water weight will probably be temporary, as you will probably end up urinating it out when you are not taking your birth control pills at the end of every cycle. The bad news, though, is that the water weight could cause you to gain up to 10 pounds. 

 

When Weight Gain Isn’t Just Water Weight

 

Certain types of birth control, such as the implant, the hormonal IUD, and the shot, do not contain estrogen, yet they could also cause weight gain. And any weight that you gain while on these types of birth control could end up being fat accumulation rather than just water retention. The cause is progestin, which causes some women to get heavier, but experts don’t know why.

 

How to Avoid Weight Gain with Birth Control

 

If you’re concerned about weight gain while using birth control or you’ve experienced it and you want it to stop, talk to your doctor. He or she will help you pick the right birth control product, such as one that has drospirenone, which serves as a diuretic that reduces water retention, or a non-hormonal option like the copper IUD. 

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