Are Your Birth Control Pills Making You Fat?

Women are always questioning whether a recommended treatment will cause them to get fat, and the question comes up with contraceptive use daily in the life of a gyno. The causes weight gain, and the causes obesity are both similar and many, but it's not likely that you got fat from your oral contraceptive pills (OCP). Many women do believe that OCPs cause weight gain, but well controlled studies just do not back this up. Generally studies of healthy women over a period of time find that about a third of them will gain weight. The good news is that also during those studies about 1/5th of the participants actually lose weight. Birth control pills could cause weight gain due to water retention, accumulation of fat, or due to increased hunger drive followed by increased caloric intake. But these factors do not affect all women and it has mostly been found that pill users were no more or less likely to gain weight than non OCP users. However, a few studies found that OCP users did gain a small amount of weight, on the order of a couple of pounds.But that is also postulated to be water weight that resolves within the first three months of use. Calorie consumption and exercise is still the major contributor to weight gain in women on the birth control pills, so work on your energy balance, on the pills or off.


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