No Weight Gain With Birth Control Pills
It’s been more than four decades ago since the “Pill” had changed the way a woman’s body functions. However, a published review suggested that many women believe in the widespread notion that birth control pills and other forms of hormonal contraceptives cause weight gain.
Based on a nationwide survey of women aged 18 to 35 years old who were asked about the link between birth control pills and weight gain, sixty-one percent believed that the pill causes weight gain. However, a published review suggested that women taking the pill should not blame their contraceptives when they add on a few pounds. There is no truth to the widespread notion that hormonal birth control methods and other forms of contraceptives cause weight gain.
It is essential for women to be educated about birth control pills in order for them to base their contraceptive decisions on facts, not myths and misinformation. It’s been more than four decades ago since the “Pill” had changed the way a woman’s body functions. This combination of estrogen and progesterone hormones prevent ovulation or the releasing of an egg during the monthly cycle. By suppressing ovulation, a woman cannot get pregnant because there is no egg to be fertilized. After more than 40 years, the survey results confirm that there is a need to educate women further concerning the “Pill”.
According to Laureen Lopez, Ph.D, women do tend to gain weight over time. “But as far as we could tell, there is no evidence of a causal relationship between taking birth control pills and weight gain,” added Lopez.
Together with her colleagues at Family Health International, a nonprofit reproductive research group, they reviewed 44 hormonal contraceptive trials that included information about the study participants’ weight fluctuations.
None of the three trials that compared hormonal contraceptives to inactive placebo showed a significant difference in weight gain among either group.
Forty-one studies compared different types, dosages, or regimens of hormonal contraception. While women in some of the studies did gain weight, Lopez says there was little to suggest that the weight gain was caused by hormonal contraceptive use.
The researchers concluded that it is not possible to say for sure that hormonal contraceptives don’t cause weight gain. But they added that “no large effect (was) evident” in the studies they reviewed.
Over the years, advances in medical science have produced a new wave of safe and effective birth control pills that could put a stop to a woman’s monthly bleeding for 365 days. Having gained more control over their reproductive cycles, women can now choose the type of contraceptive method based on lifestyle and health issues. However, the fear of gaining weight is one of the most common reasons why women choose less effective methods of birth control over the pill and other hormonal contraceptives.
According to Katharine O’Connell, MD., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University, the belief that the pill makes you fat is especially strong among young women. She also said that many doctors still warn their patients who take hormonal contraceptives about possible weight gain.
In their own review of another set of research group, O’Connell and colleagues at Columbia have completed examining birth control and weight gain. Little evidence of a connection was found. And in a recently published study comparing low-dose birth control pills to a vaginal contraceptive ring, they reported no significant weight gain in either group.
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