Birth control pills are a hormone-based medication and must be taken daily, and they have 98% efficacy against unwanted pregnancy. However, birth control pills cause some side effects, including weight gain, dizziness, and headaches, especially in the first months of consumption, and increase fluid retention.
We public health nurses and registered nurses get asked a lot of questions like:
- Does birth control pills make you gain weight?
- What birth control pills make you gain weight?
- How does birth control pills make you gain weight?
- What can be done if you gain weight with the use of birth control pills?
The links above direct you straight to the point where you get the answer to that specific question. By reading the whole article you will know everything about birth control pills.
Table of Contents
Does birth control pills make you gain weight?
Birth control pills do not make you gain weight directly.
Some contraceptive pills have as a side effect the increase in fluid retention and also a slight weight gain, however, these side effects are more common in continuous use pills and subcutaneous implants.
How does birth control pills make you gain weight?
Answer to the question: “Does birth control pills make you gain weight?” is a “Yes, in some cases”. So let’s find out how do they make you gain weight.
Contraceptive pills can cause some weight gain in some women, but this is because birth control pills cause increased fluid retention, belly swelling and also increase appetite, as they hormonally cause a pregnancy-like state.
In any case of weight gain produced after the consumption of birth control pills, the increased weight would be moderate, that is, the increase would not be significant.
This minimum weight gain is usually temporary and may disappear in two months or three.
What birth control pills make you gain weight?
Now that you know the answer to “Does birth control pills make you gain weight?” you might be thinking about what birth control pills make you gain weight then. Here is the answer.
Some of the contraceptive pills with which it is common to gain weight are:
Patches and birth control injections make you gain weight, even in greater amounts.
What birth control pills do not cause weight gain?
Now that you know the answer to the “What birth control pills make you gain weight?” you are probably thinking about what pills do not make you gain weight. Here is the answer to that.
According to medical studies, formulas that contain little estrogen and progesterone (which usually contain drospirenone, which is a substance with diuretic action) cause less fluid retention.
Bayer HealthCare conducted a survey in 2007 of 4,834 women. This resulted in 81% of women claiming that new birth control pills do not cause them to gain weight.
This is because they contain new active substances such as drospirenone and dose reduction.
The drospirenone developed by Bayer Schering Pharma, and the last gestagen that was incorporated into the new birth control pills, is the closest to the natural progesterone in women, and its action helps prevent fluid retention.
This means that greater and better weight control will be obtained, because not only is fluid retention avoided, but it also helps with the removal of them.
Another of the great advances has been the incorporation of new gestagens that have made the difference between before and after the use of the contraceptive pill. But even then it is not possible to confirm it, because each organism can react differently.
What can be done if you gain weight with the use of birth control pills?
Does birth control pills make you gain weight? Yes. But what you can do about it? Let’s find out.
Most of the side effects of birth control pills usually disappear after 3 months of use.
Even if you have gained weight, do not give up the pill before 6 months of use, since your weight can become stable and you can see that the contraceptive interference was not as significant as you had thought in the first months.
In case your weight does not stabilize, the first thing you should do if you are among women who continuously gain weight with the use of birth control pills, even after several months of taking the pills, is to see your doctor discuss your concerns regarding continuous weight gain.
It is necessary to go to the doctor because the weight gain may not have any link to your birth control and may be caused by another reason. But in case the weight gain is due to an effect of the contraceptive pills that you are using, your doctor could be very helpful.
Not all birth control pills will have the same impact or effects on your body.
Just as not all brands of birth control pills use the same level in the dose of estrogen. Your doctor may be able to recommend and prescribe some brand of contraceptive pills with a lower level of estrogen to determine if that can correct the problem caused.
As an alternative way, your doctor may give you a progestin-only pill.
These are contraceptive pills also known as mini-pills or POP since they do not contain any type of estrogen at all.
After you switch to a new birth control pill, you should not expect any immediate changes.
Normally, it should wait up to three months for most women to notice the decrease in their weight.
For any other medication, it is important that you ask your doctor questions to be able to know and understand all the possible side effects that contraceptive pills could cause you.
In what other ways does the contraceptive pill affect your body?
Birth control pills can also change your body in other ways.
In the same way that the proportion of muscle in your body impacts, the contraceptive pill can subtly influence fat, especially in those places in your body where fat is stored.
During puberty, progesterone, like estrogen, is responsible for developing the breasts and making the hips wider.
It is related to the distribution of fat.
The female hourglass figure that emerges as different types of fatty tissue reacts in different ways according to these hormones.
As an example, subcutaneous fat, the type that women carry around the hips, breasts, and thighs, contains quite a few estrogen receptors.
A study was able to reveal that the progesterone and estrogen contained in birth control pills help shape the body of women because the fat is located in one place or another of their bodies. In this way, it was discovered that many women who took the pill and had high levels of estrogen were susceptible to their body becoming pear-shaped, in addition to having more subcutaneous fat, although they did not have more fat in general.
How should birth control pills be taken?
To correctly take birth control pills, it should be taken into account that there are 2 types of birth control pills:
1. Normal pill:
The normal pill should be taken once a day, always at the same time, every day until the box is finished, and then a pause of 4, 5 or 7 days, depending on the pill, must be taken and then started again With another box. Of course, the information leaflet of the contraceptive pill you are going to use must be consulted, as rest periods may vary.
2. Continuous use pill:
The continuous use pill should be taken once a day, always at the same time, every day, but in this case, there will be no pause between one box of pills and another.
Advantages of birth control pills
- Regularize menstruations.
- Reduces the days and amount of menstrual bleeding, as well as minimizes discomfort related to menstruation (colic, breast pain).
- Decreases or disappears acne (pimples) and hair thickness.
- Reduces the risk of ovarian and matrix body cancer; infections of the womb, tubes, and ovaries; cysts in the ovaries and breasts.
Contraindications of the contraceptive pill
There are a number of cases in which the use of the pill as a contraceptive method is contraindicated or is not recommended.
1. Absolute contraindications:
Women who have phlebitis, a history of pulmonary embolism or any heart disease that may favor the formation of clots (valvulopathies), since the risk of thrombus formation in the venous system is increased and, therefore, of suffering strokes or thrombosis.
Women who are smokers, especially if they are over 35 years old.
Women who have suffered from uterine or breast cancer, which in many cases are of hormonal origin. Women suffering from epilepsy, hypertension or strong headaches.
2. Relative contraindications:
Women who suffer from diseases such as benign breast cysts, fibroids in the uterus, among others:
- Obese women
- Women with varicose veins.
- Women suffering from migraines.
Some medications alter the effectiveness of birth control pills, so you should inform your gynecologist if you are taking any pharmacological treatment.
The contraceptive pill can be taken in case you have diabetes, mild hypertension or hypercholesterolemia, as long as these pathologies are controlled correctly.
In case of an abortion, you can take the pill immediately after having suffered it, but you must wait at least a few days after delivery.
Can birth control pills affect mood or fertility?
The pills do not cause sterility or changes in mood. When you stop taking the pills, fertility is immediate.
What can be done in case of discomfort caused by the contraceptive pill?
If you suspect a pregnancy, you have a severe headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, yellowing of the eyes or skin, leg pain, or persistent discomfort for more than 6 months of use, you should go to Immediate with your doctor.
Conclusion: Does birth control pills make you gain weight?
It is very important that with or without the contraceptive pill, you always stay protected with any method that is safe and that you have studied in advance since the morning-after pill should not be a resource you usually use to not get pregnant.
Study the safety of each of the contraceptive methods to be able to decide which one is best for you according to the type of sexual relations you have.
Enjoy, but with guarantees.
At this point, you should know the answer to the question does birth control pills make you gain weight and what birth control pills make you gain weight.
If you want to learn some more about nursing-related topics check out these articles of ours:
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- Can a Nurse Practitioner Prescribe Medication?
- Can Nurse Practitioners Diagnose?
- Do Nurses Get Drug Tested?
- How to Become a Registered Nurse
- How to Become a Neonatal Nurse
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