The birth control pill is sometimes associated with weight gain, water retention or increased appetite How many pounds on average?After how long?What are the best pills?Avoid?What to do?Answers from Drs Sophia Taieb and Odile Bagot, gynaecologists.
A side effect?
After how long?
number of kilos
What should I do ?
When to change?
Even if the pill is still a reliable, discreet contraceptive that preserves the freedom of users and is quite well adapted to those who have regular sexual intercourse, every second woman (study by the Sofres Santé Institute) believes that the Pill has annoying side effects like weight gain or fluid retention. What is it? How many pounds taken on average? After how long? What to do? the gynecologist Dr. Safia Taieb and Dr. Separate Odile Bagot.
Can weight gain be a side effect of the pill?
Almost all pill manufacturers mention weight gain in the list of side effects on the package leaflet. However, according to Haute Autorité de Santé, "there is no evidence of weight gain on the estrogen-progestogen pill, the association between weight gain and progestogen alone is poorly documented".Dr . Odile Bagot, gynaecologist, shares this opinion."Studies have shown that the weight gain was small. While the progestin can cause water retention, the weight change directly attributable to the pill is usually no more than 1.5 kg. Weight gain should always be correlated with the context. Generally, gaining weight coincides with a lifestyle change that encourages weight gain, like eating out more often, drinking more alcohol, exercising less," explains the gynaecologist. rarely though more. Especially since we don't have premenstrual syndrome like in a natural cycle that makes you jump on sugar and limits weight gain. "It's so ingrained in women's minds that the pill makes them fatter, that they attribute the least discrepancy in weight to the pill In fact, most women who took vo n Weight fluctuations were affected before. Some pills that contain a progestin that has a diuretic effect due to an anti-aldosterone effect may even result in a small amount of weight loss. Let's say, out of 10 women who take the pill, there is one who takes it steadily," says the expert.
Causes: Why do we gain weight when taking the pill?
“The weight gain with the pill is mainly due to the estrogen it contains. In fact, these hormones are involved in the production and storage of fat, promote water retention and thus can cause edema in the lower limbs, thighs, lower abdomen and breasts, leading to undesirable effects such as heaviness, breast tenderness or pain, or pelvic (pelvic) heaviness.It is Progesterone, a second hormone found in some pills that helps counteract the effects of estrogen. Safia Taieb explains, "Estrogen hormones can lead to weight gain if too much of it is secreted by the ovaries or is not balanced by progesterone," Dr explains factors that favor weight gain while on the pill, as at the beginning of any new birth control method, estrogen tries to overpower the effect of progesterone in blocking ovulation, which can lead to weight gain as a result of this hormonal change and the weight stabilizing ."
After how long?
If there is weight gain, it occurs in the first three months. "This type of side effect does not occur after five years," adds our interlocutor.
What pills don't gain weight?
The effect of the pill on the body comes from two things: the estrogen-progestin balance we bring with the pill and the woman's response. "We often think that a very low dose pill limits weight gain, but some women do develop reactive hyperestrogenia, meaning their ovaries are still producing estrogen to compensate. As a result, they will experience more fluid retention and breast pain. Conversely, a stronger pill will soothe their ovaries and improve their symptoms,” explains Dr. Odile Bagot. For example: Leeloo, monophasic, contains 20 micrograms of ethinylestradiol on the entire blister pack, while Daily G, triphasic, contains 35 micrograms of tablets in some tablets.
What are the worst pills?
"The recommendations call for a second-generation pill, the lowest dose of estrogen, to be prescribed as first-line treatment for vascular reasons. But we can't say whether there are good or bad pills because it depends on each woman's response." ”, nuanced the expert.In general, the first generation pills are those that can be considered the "worst" due to their very high levels of hormones, they are no longer marketed in France.The third generation pills were controversial a few years ago, but we now know that they can be safely prescribed without vascular risks. Their advantages: Some have a skin benefit or contain a progestogen (dropspirenone) that reduces the risk of water retention. Their disadvantage: None are reimbursed. Some pills, whose progestins belong to the third generation, but whose vascular risk corresponds to that of a second generation, also have an anti-acne effect.It is :
Femi and its generics (Naravela, Optikinzy).(also no refund but cheaper prices for generics)
How many kilos on average?
Most women do not gain weight at all. In this case, the weight gain should not exceed 1.5 kg. Weight gain varies from woman to woman because we metabolize the hormones in the pill differently: "A person with a slow metabolism will experience the side effects of the pill feel the pill more than an active person," says Dr. Taieb.
What should I do ?
Nowadays, the estrogen dosage of birth control pills has become much lower, and the use of newer generation progestins significantly reduces the risk of weight gain. There is also good news, as various scientific studies have brought to light a new progestin, drospirenone, that by using it counteracting the water retention induced by ethinyl estradiol (the estrogen found in birth control pills) would show better weight gain control."If the woman is concerned about a particular weight gain, her doctor may advise her to reduce the estrogen dose and switch to a pill of the latest type Generation, microdosing (3rd or 4th generation) or changing contraceptive methods entirely Choose an intrauterine device (IUD) that, unlike pills, implants or contraceptive patches, does not release hormones,” explains Dr. Taieb.
If, despite switching birth control, weight gain persists, it may be due to poor eating habits or stress. Finally, birth control pills would affect appetite and encourage snacking , the pill would increase appetite, the pill is "diabetogenic", which means it increases the insulin level in the blood and insulin makes you hungry. It is therefore important to curb the craving for sweets and to clearly differentiate between real hunger and a simple desire to eat," concludes the gynaecologist.
When to Consider Changing the Pill
“We can try to change the pill but it won't change much because they're pretty close. Weight gain is more related to the lifestyle and nature of the person than to the pill itself,” warns the specialist. The only real alternative is the copper or progesterone IUD – especially the low-dose Kyleena – that, even if it's a hormone contains, does not disturb the general hormonal balance.
Thanks to Drs Sophia Taieb and Odile Bagot, gynaecologists.