The Patch And The Ring Free You From Pills
The patch and the ring are both hormonal methods of contraception containing estrogen and progestin, like the pill, but neither of these require a daily routine.
The patch is a small piece of plastic that sticks on your stomach, buttock, arm, or torso and is replaced weekly. The ring is a small, flexible device that is placed inside the vagina and left for three weeks at a time, but is taken out for one week of the month in order for you to have a period.
Pros: Both of these birth control options share all the benefits of combination pills theyre just more convenient. Plus, the ring can be used continuously to allow you to skip periods, Newmann says. Like the pill, theyre 91 percent effective for preventing pregnancy, and can be even more effective if used exactly as instructed.
Cons: The patch can cause skin reactions in some women. And like the pill, both the patch and the ring can cause side effects, such as spotting, headaches, bloating, and breast tenderness. You shouldnt use them if youre predisposed to blood clots, have uncontrolled high blood pressure, or get migraines with aura. The ring has additional possible side effects of vaginal discharge or irritation.
If You’re Taking The Pill Weight Gain Could Occur Because Of Its Ingredients
According to Dr. Jacqueline Ziernicki of HCA-HealthONEs Sky Ridge Medical Center, birth control pills can make you gain weight because of the ingredients.
“Birth control pills contain estrogen and progestin and have essentially come a long way since they were approved by the FDA in 1960,” she said. This means the hormone levels are much lower now, but still prevalent. An increase in hormones can have temporary side effects and that includes weight gain. The weight gain, however, may just be fluid retention.
Dr. Felice Gersh, OB-GYN and author of “PCOS SOS: A Gynecologist’s Lifeline To Naturally Restore Your Rhythms, Hormones and Happiness,” told INSIDER that estrogen, a key component of birth control, plays a bigger role in your weight gain than you think and you should take note of that.
“Estrogen also maintains the gut microbiome and gut integrity and regulates gut function,” she said. “A dysbiotic gut and a leaky gut leads to a state of overall inflammation, which in turn leads to insulin resistance and weight gain.”
When To Switch Birth Control Methods
Finding the right form of birth control is a process of trial and error. Many people find that hormonal birth control reduces the pain of period cramps and regulates the menstrual cycle.
However, it is common to have to try several different types or brands of pill before finding one with manageable side effects. Some people find that they are not able to tolerate hormonal birth control in any form.
Many non-hormonal options are available, including the copper intrauterine device , condoms, a diaphragm, and spermicidal lubricants. If people are interested in permanent contraception, they can discuss surgical options with a doctor.
People can also speak to a doctor about switching birth control types whenever the side effects feel intolerable, or the risks seem too large.
Switching birth control type might be beneficial for people who are:
- continuing to experience side effects that are no better after 23 months
- having side effects that are unbearable or interfere with daily functioning
- living with a medical condition, such as lupus, liver disease, or cardiovascular disease, that may worsen the side effects of birth control
- smoking while using hormonal birth control
- having migraines while using birth control, especially those with aura
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Is Getting An Iud Painful
Some women worry that IUD insertion is painful Dr. Stanwood says the experience varies for each woman. For most, its similar to a typical pelvic exam with a Pap test, but with a little more of a cramp, she says. For others, Im all done and they ask, Thats it? I didnt feel anything. Yet other women might feel more crampy. For most, its a procedure that takes about five minutes totalwith a few minutes of cramps that are worth it in exchange for many years of birth control.
IUD insertion is performed during a standard office visit. Some spotting is expected after and might last the rest of the day, Dr. Stanwood says. Women whove recently given birth have a particularly easy time with the experience, she notes. I like to let women who have recently delivered a baby know that they will have the least amount of discomfort in terms of insertion if they do it within a couple of months of having their baby, because the cervix tends to be open and the uterus isnt as bothered by it.
Dr. Stanwood jokes that, in general, it takes longer to talk to women about IUDs than it does to insert them.
The Heavy Toll Of Oral Contraceptives On The Brain
You may already know that birth control pills have been shown to cause problems with blood pressure, and they increase the risk of blood clots and strokes, especially if you smoke or have a history of migraine headaches. But did you know that birth control pills also affect your brain and psychological well-being?
Research shows that taking birth control pills causes structural changes in the brain, alters neurotransmitter function, and messes with mood regulation.
- Brain structure: A 2019 study found that the hypothalamus in women taking oral contraceptives was about 6% smaller than in women who werent on the pill.
- Neurotransmitters and moods: Scientists from Denmark found that women ages 15-34 taking oral contraceptives were 23% more likely to start taking antidepressants for the first time than those who werent taking the pill. In fact, bouts of depression have been reported by 16-56% of women taking the pill, which depletes the neurotransmitter serotonin.
- Other neurohormones: Birth control pills also elevate cortisol levels and lower testosterone levels . And low-testosterone problems can remain even after stopping oral contraceptives, putting you at increased risk for long-term sexual and brain health/mental health problems.
- Microbiome disruption: Synthetic birth control can also disrupt the gut microbiome.
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Causes Symptoms And Treatment
Estrogen is a hormone produced in the ovaries and commonly associated with the female reproductive system. However, it is also present in small amounts in mens bodies. Hormones are substances that regulate the activity of specific cells and organs. There are many hormones, many of which work together to release other regulatory hormones in the body.
Estrogen is considered a sex hormone because it regulates sexual development in females. There are also synthetic hormones used in supplementation for women with low hormone levelssuch as low estrogen.
Synthetic Oestrogen Is Six To 10 Times More Potent Than The Natural Kind
This also happens on a smaller scale in women who arent on the pill, during the week just before their period. But its exaggerated by the contraceptive because synthetic oestrogen is six to 10 times more potent than the natural kind, and because its taken nearly every day, which means the levels of both hormones are more constant.
So while the pill may not be leading to long-term weight gain, some women could still find that their clothes fit differently.
Fluid retention may also help to explain why some women report that the pill increases their cup size. There have been very few studies into the effect understandably, most research tends to focus on breast cancer rather than size but back in the 1990s a couple of Swedish scientists decided to take a look.
The contraceptive pill is known to increase a womans risk of developing breast cancer slightly, both while shes taking it and in the 10 years afterwards. The researchers wanted to know whether this might be because these women have larger breasts theres an inherent risk in having more cells, which is one reason tall people tend to be more susceptible to cancer.
To find out, the team tracked the monthly cycles of 65 healthy women who either were on the pill, used to take it, or had never taken it. They found that not only did pill users have significantly larger breasts overall, but they were especially large at certain times of the month. Women who had previously been on the pill had an average-sized bust.
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Effects Of Contraceptives On Weight Gain Or Loss
Am Fam Physician. 2017 Dec 15 96:online.
Original Article: Update on Office-Based Strategies for the Management of Obesity
Issue Date: September 1, 2016
See additional reader comments at:
to the editor: In their article, Erlandson and colleagues do a good job of providing physicians with up-to-date and practical information on the outpatient management of obesity. However, in Table 4 in the row for hormones, progestins are incorrectly labeled as weight negative and estrogens are incorrectly labeled as weight positive. In a recent Cochrane review, progestin-only contraceptives were found to be weight neutral or modestly weight positive .1 Another study looking specifically at injectable progestin-only contraceptives shows more robust weight gain of 13.7 lb over five years.2 In addition to weight effects, many obese females on progestin-only contraceptives struggle with hyperandrogenic symptoms such as acne, facial hair, and dyslipidemia. These effects can be exacerbated depending on the generation of progestin used, with third-generation progestins being the most advantageous .
Progestinic and Androgenic Effects of Contraceptives
Progestinic and Androgenic Effects of Contraceptives
AYAZ VIRJI, MD, FAAFP
Can The Copper Iud Cause Weight Gain
The ParaGard package insert doesnt list weight gain as a side effect, but what does the research say? Unfortunately, there isnt a clear answer to that question either.
In a study comparing weight gain with hormonal IUDs to those with copper IUDs, both groups were just as likely to gain similar amounts of weight . This seems to support the idea that in most cases, people who have IUDs may be gaining weight naturally due to other reasons.
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Iuds Are The Most Effective Birth Control Device
An IUD, or intrauterine device, is a T-shaped device thats inserted into the uterus by your doctor. Youll need to choose between one that contains copper or the synthetic hormone progestin.
IUD Pros: The IUD is a very effective contraception option pregnancy occurs in less than 1 in 100 women who use one. It is invisible from the outside, and you don’t need to use spermicide with it. Copper IUDs can be left in for 10 years, and an IUD containing hormones can be left in for three to five, depending on the brand.
The copper IUD can even be used for emergency contraception if its inserted within five days of unprotected sex. Another benefit of the IUD is that although long-term, it’s reversible, and you can become pregnant after having it removed.
IUD Cons: Copper IUDs tend to cause heavier bleeding during your period, while those with hormones tend to make it lighter. Both types can cause an increase in cramping. If you have a sexually transmitted infection at the time its inserted, your risk for pelvic inflammatory disease increases, Newmann says.
Can We Trust The Research On Weight Gain
Researchers have examined the different kinds of birth control, from pills to the patch to the shot, to really see if the women participating in various trials showed enough weight gain to make the results significant.
Their research involved the 2 major types birth control: 1. Birth control with both progestin and estrogen . Examples include most birth control pills and the birth control patch. 2. Birth control with progestin but no estrogen . Examples include the mini-pill or the Depo-Provera shot.
What Exactly Is An Iud
An IUD is a small, T-shaped device that an OB/GYN inserts into your vagina, through your cervix, and into your uterus. It stands sort of like a guardian right in between your fallopian tubes where your ovaries live.
Most IUDs are hormonal, meaning they release reproductive hormones called progestins to help prevent pregnancy. There is one non-hormonal option though the copper IUD , which prevents pregnancy because copper is toxic to sperm.
IUDs are some of the most effective birth control options out there. Less than 1% of women with an IUD will become pregnant while its inserted. Aside from this amazing efficacy rate, many women love IUDs because theyre convenient. Once your OB/GYN inserts the IUD, it can remain in place for 3 to 10 years depending on the specific brand.
Common side effects of hormonal IUDs include spotting and irregular periods, and often no periods at all after a year. In contrast to hormonal IUDs, the copper IUD can result in heavier periods.
Vasectomies Are Permanent And Nearly 100 Percent Effective
Tired of holding all the pregnancy-prevention responsibilities as a woman? If youre done having children, you might consider sending your husband to the doctor. Vasectomy is a simple procedure: Through a tiny incision, a doctor closes the tubes that carry a mans sperm, preventing them from leaving his body.
Vasectomy Pros: A vasectomy is almost 100 percent effective for contraception the tubes grow back together only in about 1 in 1,000 men. This permanent form of birth control also carries few risks, requires only a few days of recovery, and has no effect on a man’s sexual function.
Vasectomy Cons: Youll need to use a back-up birth control method, such as condoms, for three months after the surgery to be sure all of previously made sperm has been ejaculated. And remember: It is permanent, and there’s a very small chance that a vasectomy could increase the risk of prostate cancer. So you have to be sure that you dont want more children before he has the procedure. Although the surgery can be reversed in some cases, its very expensive and success is not guaranteed.
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Weight Gain On The Patch And The Ring
The NuvaRing and the Xulane patch, like birth control pills, contain amounts of hormones too low to impact most womens weight. Women who are particularly sensitive to hormones might experience some effects, but most women can expect to use both the ring and patch without having to worry about any weight gain whatsoever.
If youre interested in hormonal birth control, do not let worries about weight gain hold you back. Although a few users of the shot may see weight changes, they tend to be temporary and minor.
If youre worried about gaining weight while on birth control, lets talk. Our medical experts would be happy to walk you through the data.
Why The Truth Matters When It Comes To Weight Gain
Investigating whether birth control makes you gain weight is no easy task. Researchers have been studying it over two decades and counting, with thousands of women participating. It’s a question the medical community takes very seriously, because they know it’s a concern for women who want to take birth control.
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What Is The Primary Reason Birth Control Causes Weight Gain
In most cases, birth control can promote water retention, which increases the number on the scale and also gives the appearance of excess weight. In some cases though, birth control pills can also increase appetite and cause a woman to consume excess calories, leading to weight gain. If birth control pills are causing water retention, stopping the pills will reverse this side effect and lead to weight loss.
Lifestyle Changes Could Be The Culprit
If the Pill itself isn’t the reason I’ve packed on some pounds, what is? Sherry Ross, MD, ob-gyn at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in California and author of She-ology, advised me that before blaming my birth control for my weight gain, I should first look to my lifestyle.
Other factors happening in a woman’s life at the same time she gets her first rx for the Pillsuch as a new relationship, a new environment, depression, or stresscould be making her eat more than usual or choose foods that aren’t healthy without realizing it. In my case, the change to my relationship status and stress from graduating college and dealing with finances could play a part in my extra pounds.
In adolescence or when they go off to college is when most women start the Pill, and these are also times when young women tend to gain weight, explains Dr. Ross. I think its important to really look at whats happening,” she says.
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Being Tired All The Time
Hormonal imbalances like high cortisol, low testosterone, and hypothyroidism can make you feel tired all the time.
Its normal to feel tired after a long day but if you wake up tired, your hormones could be unbalanced. However, tiredness can be a sign of many other health issues. Instead of guessing, see a doctor and find out what the problem might be.
What The Research Says
Progestins can increase appetite, while high levels of estrogen tend to increase fluid or water retention. Changes in hormonal birth control and advances in combination forms of the pill have addressed this issue.
Most, if not all, pills lack estrogen levels that are high enough to cause weight gain. The first birth control pill, developed in the 1950s, contained 150 micrograms of the estrogen mestranol.
Todays pills only contain 20 to 50 mcg of estrogen, according to a 2012 review .
Study after study has examined the relationship between weight gain and todays most popular forms of hormonal contraception, including the pill and the patch. The vast majority of these studies showed limited evidence that birth control pills are associated with weight gain.
Any weight gain that may occur in the first weeks or months after beginning birth control is typically due to water retention. It isnt actual fat gain.
One literature review found that study participants gained, on average, fewer than 4.4 pounds after 6 or 12 months of using a progestin-only pill.
If you gain substantially more than that after starting hormonal birth control, your weight gain is likely caused by something else.
If youre noticing weight gain and cant pinpoint a reason, it could be due to one of the following common causes.
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