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Birth control pills + weight gain

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey I was wondering if anyone here has ever put on weight by taking birth control pills. If anyone has, if you switched kinds, did you end up losing the weight you gained? and if you did, how long did it typically take?


I got put on Linessa at the end of November because Yasmin made me very ill and I ended up putting on 15 pounds in about 2 months. I just switched brands a week ago but it is driving me nuts that I can't get into any of my jeans and I have not weighed 175lbs since I starting losing weight nearly 2 years ago @ 200lbs. It doesn't help that the scale won't budge Thanks
post #2 of 22
i take desogen and i've NEVER EVER EVER gained any weight from it. i've taken it for about 3 years now.

it's pretty much the generic one but i've never had a problem (no side effects and no babies) so it works perfectly ... hehehe.

why does it make u gain weight? does it just make u hungrier?
post #3 of 22
I was on tri-cyclen and gained 5 lbs. Took me a VERY long time to lose it.

I switched to the BC patch and did not gain a pound. I've been using it for 1.5 years now.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nakedmosher2of3 View Post
why does it make u gain weight? does it just make u hungrier?
I am not sure but I think it is the hormones in the pill. Along with gaining weight, I went up 1.5 cup sizes along with 1.5 dress sizes. I know too that when I went to the doctor 2 weeks ago, the pills I was on also caused me to have high blood pressure because of possible water retention
post #5 of 22
I would say Yasmin is the least likely to make someone gain. You could try Diane 35. I have never used it but some people rave about it while others don't like it (some gain, some don't). Try it and see. People react differently to different meds. Another one is Alesse.
post #6 of 22
They say that the weight gain is due to hormones that increase your appetite. And its also a sort of medical myth that BC makes you gain weight. If you don't change your behaviors, you won't gain a thing.

That said, IMO if one BC makes you sick, and this one is good but you gained weight, I say stick to it, and try to lose the weight in a different way than switching pills. Its alot easier than going on/off each diff brand and experiencing each set of side effects.
post #7 of 22
i just started back on BC after being off of it for over a year. im taking generic ortho, and have gained 3-4 lbs within the first 3 weeks of taking it....i dont feel necessarily hungrier but my cravings for bad food is through the roof. even if im not hungry, i just crave food. like right now, im sitting here eating cookie crisp straight from the box, im not even hungry....but i cant stop!!!

on the plus side, my boobs have never looked better
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
^Its weird cause I never started eating more food or became hungrier but yet I gained weight and went up 1.5 cup sizes.

The good news is I switched to ortho tricyclen-lo and in 2 weeks, my skin cleared up really nicely and my blood pressure is normal again. The other pills caused my blood pressure to go up to 139/89 but now it is 120/84
post #9 of 22
Pretty much every birth control I've been on has caused me to gain weight. I know it's the pill, bc I actually struggle to gain weight and it's almost impossible naturally. I'm glad you switched, the high blood pressure sounds bad. Ortho lo didn't do it for me but I've heard good things about it.
post #10 of 22
just fyi, birth control CAN cause weight gain and in the event that it does, you will NOT gain more than 5-10lbs from it. If it's anything more, it's caused with a combination of your diet, stress, etc...
post #11 of 22
I used to take birth control a long time ago (Marvelon) and noticed a wee bit of weight gain (maybe 1lbs or so) but mostly water retention. When I finished my cycle, I asked my doctor why it made me gain weight and he said that particular pill was super high in estrogen so I switched to Alesse.

Estrogen in high doses is known to cause weight gain especially due to fluid retention. The more estrogen there is in a pill, the more tendency to gain weight ie 50 mcgm pill will result in more weight gain than a 35 mcgm pill.

It took me about several months for things to get back to normal as far as weight gain but only a couple weeks to get rid of the increased water retention. Using the lowest possible estrogen containing birth control pill should minimize weight gain and swelling from the water retention. From my knowledge, the lowest you can go in estrogen is 20 mcgm. The brands I think are Alesse, Levlite, Loestrin-Fe, and Mircette if Im not mistaken.

Any weight gain after starting pills of more than 5% of body weight may be a signal of your tendency toward insulin resistance or abnormal glucose metabolism. With this amount of weight gain associated with an oral contraceptive, I would suggest you be evaluated for possible insulin resistance. If this is the case, you may have to adopt a low carbohydrate diet. Simple sugars in any amount and high carbohydrate only snacks or meals will negate all other dieting efforts on a daily basis and frustrate any long term ability at weight control.

Check with your physician to see what he/she recommends?

Hope that helps! good luck.
post #12 of 22
have you considered any non-pill alternatives?

I believe that nuvaring delivers lower estrogen doses than the pill. plus all you do is leave it in for 3 weeks and then take it out for one. super easy.
post #13 of 22
I use Mercilon 28 and have not gained any weight or had any health issues. The pharmacist told me it's pretty good with the weight issue. Is this brand sold here in the US?
post #14 of 22
Get on Allesse 28. It's super super low dose. Doesn't fluctuate, and it didn't make me gain weight. In fact, since I've gotten off it, I gained weight haha. I am very sensitive to pills and this one didn't make me ill ONCE...where as others made me vomit every morning for a week straight...
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by plastic_alligator View Post
Get on Allesse 28. It's super super low dose. Doesn't fluctuate, and it didn't make me gain weight. In fact, since I've gotten off it, I gained weight haha. I am very sensitive to pills and this one didn't make me ill ONCE...where as others made me vomit every morning for a week straight...
I was on Alesse but it made me impotent I am on tri-cyclen lo now and after trying 3 pills before it, these are working for me now. I am slowing losing weight now with my normal healthy diet and exercise, but it is always harder to lose the weight than gain it lol. I am not only thankful that the weight is coming off slowly, but also my blood pressure is normal again. The pills that caused me to gain weight also put my blood pressure at Type 1 hypertension stage in 3 months
post #16 of 22
Ok- I am taking this right now and it's been great to me and I've never felt sick.
The details
Mercilon is a very low-dose oral contraceptive. The 28-day regimen consists of 21 days of the pill itself, containing 150 micrograms of desogestrel and 20 micrograms of ethinylestradiol, followed by 7 days of placebo tablets.

Based on the ingredients, what brand in the US is similar?
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MISSPOOKIE View Post

Any weight gain after starting pills of more than 5% of body weight may be a signal of your tendency toward insulin resistance or abnormal glucose metabolism. With this amount of weight gain associated with an oral contraceptive, I would suggest you be evaluated for possible insulin resistance. If this is the case, you may have to adopt a low carbohydrate diet. Simple sugars in any amount and high carbohydrate only snacks or meals will negate all other dieting efforts on a daily basis and frustrate any long term ability at weight control.

Check with your physician to see what he/she recommends?

Hope that helps! good luck.
I've actually been wondering the same thing about glucose metabolism. When I lost 40 lbs (put 15 back on since my issue), my diet was a lot higher in protein than now. I am eating more carbs than in the past (not bad carbs like white bread, potatoes, sugary oatmeal, white pasta etc.) because I am in school, and residence so I am limited to what I can cook and with a 48 hr/week school load, I don't have time to spend all day in the kitchen. I eat fish, chicken, vegetables and fruit, oatmeal, whole grains, low fat/ff dairy (depending on ingredients), along with going to the gym 4-5 days/week + walking to campus several times a day.

It is really unusual because I've never had problems with all of a sudden gaining weight, and if I put on weight, I could easily lose it with diet and exercise. I am going to the doctor friday just to check because I am wondering about hypothyroidism because I looked up some of the symptoms and I have them. I will keep an update but good suggestions MISSPOOKIE
post #18 of 22
np darlin, glad I could help.

I think its a good thing that you made an appointment with the doctor. After all, they know best. Sounds to me that could be what it is. Birth control I know increases your estrogen levels which in turn makes you gain some weight, but not the kind you're talking about. I can see maybe 5lbs (mostly water weight), but that leads me to believe its something else. Who knows, everyone is different, maybe all you need to do is alter your diet just a little and start a new cycle with a lower estrogen pill?

I know its hard when you are in school to eat the home cooked meals, just try and keep up the healthy meals and maybe reach for the fruit instead of the carb filled snacks. Also drink lots and lots of water! you can never go wrong with that.

Let us know what your doc says!
post #19 of 22
I have never taken birth control in my life cause I am scared lol I have a hard enough time keeping weight off. I need to start doing something soon so I have no more babies
post #20 of 22
i used to be on the patch (ortho evra) and i didn't notice any weight gain...have you considered using an alternative method of birth control?
post #21 of 22
when i first started taking BC, i dont remember which one i took, but it made me gain a good 10 lbs and i totally freaked out. i didn't change my diet or exercise so i was pretty sad about it. i started taking orthotricyclen-lo my next cycle and about 3 months later, i was back to my normal weight and my boobs were 1 cup size bigger. I think your body just needs time to get used to it

bc has definitely made me more hungry so i pretty much feel hungry all the time even though i eat really healthy
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
3 months is awesome- I was scared it would take over a year for my hormones to balance out again.
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