If you’ve ever checked out the side effects of some birth control, you may have noticed both weight loss and weight gain listed.
But is there a type of birth control that’s best for weight loss or maintaining your current weight? Read on for a deep, deep dive into the topic.
Anecdotally, you’ll often hear that people gain weight after using hormonal birth control. And it’s listed as a side effect on the likes of some birth control pill packets.
But science has yet to find a strong link between the two.
Of the studies that have been carried out on birth control pills, evidence of weight gain has been described as insufficient and low quality. (That may be because it’s a temporary side effect that typically disappears after a few months of use.)
However, none of that means gaining weight isn’t a side effect —just that there needs to be more high quality research.
Similarly, small-scale studies have found evidence of weight gain with the birth control shot in some people. Again, more research is needed.
There are several main types of birth control:
- Hormonal. This uses synthetic hormones to prevent or delay ovulation, and it includes pills, patches, shots, and vaginal rings. You need to remember to take this form on a regular basis —daily in the case of the pill and every few weeks or months for other forms.
- Long-acting reversible contraception. Implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs) fall into this category. They need to be inserted by a healthcare professional and can last up to a decade in some cases. Some forms are hormonal, while others —like the copper IUD —contain zero hormones.
- Barrier. This method is much simpler — the forms act as a physical barrier to stop sperm from going inside the uterus. But they’re not as effective. Think external and internal condoms, spermicides, diaphragms, and cervical caps.
- Emergency. Emergency contraceptives are only …….