Birth Control And Weight Gain

Many women take birth control methods to avoid unwanted pregnancy and the birth control methods include use of pills, implant, shots, vaginal ring, IUDs etc. Most of these birth control methods prevent pregnancy and reduces the discomforts associated with menstruation.

Even then many women complain about weight gain after taking birth control pills and water retention in the body. Some of the birth control methods do cause weight gain during the initial period and it is necessary to identify whether the weight gain is because of the fluid retention or because of increased appetite and insulin resistance.

There are different types of birth control pills each having varying amount of hormones to prevent pregnancy. Pills that contain high doses of estrogen of about 50 mcgm or more can cause water retention in the body.

High doses of estrogen stimulates the enzymes of kidney like rennin, a proteolytic enzyme which catalyzes the formsation of angiotensin which cause water and sodium retention in the body that ultimately leads to weight gain and increased blood pressure.

Besides this some of the estrogen containing birth control methods causes insulin resistance or abnormal metabolism of glucose leading to weight gain. Birth control methods containing lower doses of estrogen of 20mcgm does not cause any such problems.

Similarly birth control methods that contain low estrogen and desogestrel type of progestin cause only a slight weight gain and is mainly due to the lower insulin resistance.

How to Control Weight Gain

Women who experiences weight gain due to the current birth control methods should consult their gynecologist who would conduct an examination of  blood and urine to identify the exact cause of the weight gain.

Doctors may prescribe birth controls that contain lower level of estrogen such as Triphasil, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Levlite, Yasmin, Alesse, LoEstrin etc. Besides taking such pills, follow a well-balanced diet with low carbohydrates to control the weight gain and try to consume a lots of fruits and vegetables.

Low carbohydrate diet helps to avoid the insulin resistance and aids in weight loss. Give priority to low sodium containing foods and avoid sweet and starchy foods. Also drink plenty of water which helps to flush out the toxins from the body and regulate the increase in body weight.

It is ideal to incorporate exercise in to the daily routine to remain healthy and fit. Certain fluid pills also help to reduce the water retention in the body and hence doctors prescribe fluid pills for such patients.