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How do you feel about weight gain on the pill being dismissed as "myth"?

Posted by on Jul. 2, 2013 at 9:41 AM
  • 9 Replies

Women Who Blame Weight Gain on Birth Control Pills Are Apparently Just Kidding Themselves

by Maressa Brown

birth control pillsFor decades, there have been myths galore about birth control pills. One of the most notorious: That going on hormonal contraceptives is bound to cause weight gain.

In a recent story on, Dr. Anne Burke, an associate professor of gynecology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD, is trying to set the record straight on that worry many women still have. She notes, "Some women may gain weight on the pill, but most really do not." Instead, she goes on to suggest that women consider "diet, lifestyle, alcohol, exercise, sodas/sports drinks," which might be the real culprits of weight gain as opposed to the pill. Uggghhhhhh. Yes. Because we ladies are so dense that we have absolutely no clue when the scale is skyrocketing due to too many red velvet treats and skipped cardio sessions. That birth control pill script is just an innocent scapegoat. Give me a break!

Of course lifestyle or natural growth spurts/puberty could contribute or be the cause of weight gain, but it also bears noting that the amount of estrogen or any of the faux hormones in birth control pills can influence water retention, energy, mood, metabolism (women who do not metabolize glucose properly are the ones who seem to be at a greater risk for weight gain), appetite, etc. To minimize that is just wrong and makes women feel like they must be crazy for experiencing certain side effects when they're on the pill.

The best thing Dr. Burke offers in her interview is the following: "We don’t fully understand ... how different individuals respond to any medication.” Instead of being downright defensive and claiming that weight gain or other "strange symptoms" (MIA sex drive, vaginal dryness, migraines, gallstones, blood clots, depression, etc.) are all in women's heads, she's actually sort of admitting that not all women are exactly the same. That we all have different tendencies and hormone levels, which could certainly be influenced for better or worse when a lab-created, synthetic hormone-packed pill effectively shuts down our ovaries' hormone production. How refreshing.

Ultimately, the truth about gaining weight on the pill isn't as cut and dry as I'm sure pharmaceutical companies would love us to believe. Going on the pill -- any pill or birth control method -- is a completely personal, individual situation. That said, it would be ideal if health care providers would treat women holistically when prescribing a drug that could potentially wreak havoc on our hormones and, in turn, our whole bodies. And any concern a woman should have while on birth control -- weight gain or otherwise -- would be given credence and not dismissed as a "myth."

How do you feel about weight gain on the pill being dismissed as "myth"?

by on Jul. 2, 2013 at 9:41 AM
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Replies (1-9):
by Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Been on the pill for 10 months and I haven't gained weight but I know women who have. My sister got the Depo shot and her ass blew up.

by Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I never gained weight on the pill - but I've gained at least 15 pounds that I can't starve/exercise off since I got the IUD. I can't help but think that's connected. 

But maybe not? Maybe my metabolism is just slower after having a kid. But the weight didnt happen until the IUD when I was 4/5 months pp. 

by Bronze Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 10:42 AM

I think it's hit or miss.  I gained weight with one pill and switched out and didn't gain weight with the other pill. We all respond differently to all these things.  While outside factors can be attributed to weight gain, for some women, I firmly believe that weight gain via the pill is certainly true.

by New Member on Jul. 2, 2013 at 12:10 PM

No myth, I gained 50 pds on implanon, and I cant get it off for anything.  I am having it removed next week, so hopefully I can be back to a regular comfortable size

by on Jul. 2, 2013 at 12:56 PM

not sure, but i knew a very obese woman that used to say her birth control made her gain weight yet i would see her never exercise and eat mcdonalds and chips, cookies and full fat dressing on her salads, so maybe for some it causes weight gain but unless I saw studies how could I be sure they weren't also making poor eating choices along with the birth control effecting their weight.

by Alexandra on Jul. 2, 2013 at 4:13 PM

I think it depends. It made me gain weight, but others haven't had that issue.

by Anonymous 1 on Jul. 2, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Don't use the pill... I would be more concerned about hormones than weight gain.

by on Jul. 3, 2013 at 12:12 AM
She didn't say it was a myth, she said most women do not gain weight from the pill. I think that's probably an accurate statement.

Now, I was HOPING my weight gain was due to the pill, but sadly I haven't lost a pound since going off it.
by Member on Jul. 3, 2013 at 1:25 AM
I didn't gain weight, I got a hormonal imbalance That caused me to have a breast biopsy. But it is possible that meds effect people different ways so I don't see how its a myth.
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