Is Your Birth Control Making You Gain Weight?

Here are all the possible reasons.
PHOTO: istockphoto

Whether you're a first-time birth control user or just trying a different prescription, one of the most common issues women bring up is weight gain. Have you noticed that? It's almost impossible to talk about birth control pills without worrying about "getting fat." But are they really making you gain weight?

Like many health concerns, this can't be answered with a definitive yes or no. According to ob-gyn Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, you have to determine if the birth control pills you're taking contain estrogen. If so, you're most likely putting on water weight, which can be as much as 10 pounds. However, at the end of each cycle, when you're taking a break from birth control, you're also probably peeing it all out. 

Don't want to deal with that kind of weight fluctuation? Dr. Minkin suggests choosing birth control pills that contain drospirenone as the progestin component instead. Drospirenone is a diuretic, which will keep you from retaining water. Unfortunately, when it comes to other forms of birth control, "your weight gain is more likely to be fat than water weight." There are very little studies exploring weight gain in relation to the shot, implant, and hormonal IUD. 

Dr. Minkin notes, "Don't forget that many folks put on a little bit of weight every year. So someone who is on the pill might blame [that], when it might just be the normal gain." To combat this, try adjusting your diet and exercise routine. 

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