Birth Control Pills and Weight Gain
One of the most used methods of birth control is the hormonal contraception – “the pill.” This form of preventing getting pregnant is orally administrated and, when taken correctly, is up to 99.9% effective.
There are two types of birth control pill: combination pills, which contain estrogen and progestin, and progestin-only pills. These hormones usually inhibit the ovulation and change in the cervical secretion to make it difficult for the sperm to find an egg. Hormonal contraceptives can also prevent pregnancy by making the lining of the womb inhospitable for implantation.
Is it possible to gain weight because of the birth control pill?
Any medication can have some side effects. The contraceptive pill, including. Some of the worst side effects refer to an increased risk of arterial or venous thrombotic and thromboembolic diseases, such as myocardial infarction, stroke, deep venous thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. Compared to these risks, the other body reaction to the hormones such as breast tenderness, pain, secretion; headache; migraine; changes in libido; depressive moods, contact lens intolerance; nausea, vomiting; changes in vaginal secretion seem to be mild and acceptable. Even if they are not mild and acceptable at all.
Besides these, some women are complaining about fluid retention and changed body weight caused by the use of birth control pill. Generally, when this phenomenon occurs, it has a temporary character, going away within two or three months.
Usually, the birth control pills based on estrogen are those which can lead to water retention. The amount of fluid that is retained is directly proportional with the quantity of estrogen found in the pill. To avoid fluid retention, the recommended amount of estrogen is 20 mcg. Such a low concentration is known to be safe, according to several studies.
Other women are predisposed to weight gain because the birth control pills stimulate their appetite. In a very small proportion, some types of oral contraceptives affect the insulin resistance. When the insulin levels rise, the energy obtained from the ingested carbohydrates is distributed mainly to fat cells. As a consequence, weight loss is prevented, even when a diet is followed.
Because of an abnormal glucose metabolism, due to some kidney dysfunctions or because of some abnormal hormonal patterns, some really unlucky women put on pounds while talking birth control pills. Pills are not the same and the body hormonal balance is not the same in all women. That is the reason why any woman who wants to take birth control pills should ask medical advice. Each brand of pill offers a slightly different type of the hormone, at different doses and the doctor is the one who can determine the optimal combination for each woman. Usually, it takes at least three months for any side effects to pass.
Whichever pill you try, remember that the pill does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. The latex male condom provides the best protection from most STDs. USE IT!