Fat Failures? Do You Have To Worry About the Scale When On Birth Control Pills?

If you are on birth control pills, and overweight you probably are more at risk for failure. If ideal weight you are more likely to have the success rates listed on the package: probably about 98% protective, but many studies show that obese women won't have the protection, and most pills out there have never been studied in women of BMIs over 35. Why the greater pill failure rate for obese women is not known. Is it that obese patients have a lower blood level when they take birth control pills so that they have a greater risk of getting pregnant, or having side effects due to inadequate hormone levels? Well, as in all things Gyno, the simplest explanation is not always the correct explanation. Westoff’s new publication just this month regarding obesity and contraception puts forward another puzzling fact. She studied the complexities of what we call the pharmacokinetics ( the actual blood levels) of how birth control pills work, and discusses the actual outcomes, or what is known in the biz as the pharmacodynamics (pregnancy, ovulation rates for instance) and when it came to the pregnancy rate for obese patients using contraception, she maintains it’s not the levels, it might be the behavior! Obese women may be just a bit more likely to just not take the pills! So we need to know more. Luckily many new studies are looking into the failure rates relative to weight, diet and timing of food.  And another reason to really talk to your gyno about the factors in your life that would affect how you take your contraception so that you can be successful!

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