A Birth control method which does not cause weight gain is something most women look for when trying to avoid pregnancy. As women age and are still in their childbearing years their metabolism seems to slow down making it easier to gain weight. It is a never-ending battle for women to maintain a healthy and attractive weight.
Women need birth control options that are effective and do not make them gain weight. In general, non-hormonal birth control options such as diaphragms, condoms or cervical caps are good options if you do not want to gain weight. There are other birth control options with no weight gain available and we will delve into these soon.
In this post, you will learn 8 birth control options that do not cause weight gain.
- Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are taken by mouth to prevent pregnancy and are also called oral contraceptives. Some birth controls pills will change the lining of the uterus temporarily which reduces the chances of a fertilized egg being implanted while others actually prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. Birth control pills can be combination pills which contain synthetic forms of both progesterone and estrogen or progestin only pills (synthetic progesterone) without estrogen. Women need to have choice as to which type of pill to use. If a woman has a history of certain diseases like high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease, it has been advised to take the progestin only pill. On the other hand, if a woman has had lupus or breast cancer, it has been advised to avoid the progestin only pill.
Some women may gain a minimal amount of weight due to fluid retention not extra fat however, this will go away within a couple of months. Originally, birth control pills contained very high levels of estrogen which did cause weight gain. This is no longer the case since the amount of estrogen in birth control pills has been drastically reduced. There were 44 studies reviewed that showed there was no evidence of birth control pills causing women to gain weight.
- Vaginal Ring
The vaginal ring is a flexible small piece of plastic that provides birth control. It is inserted into the vagina once a month and left in for three weeks. It is taken out for the 4th week and then you start over again using a new ring. This form of birth control requires a prescription and is 91% effective with typical use. The vaginal ring contains a combination of progestin and estrogen. Progestin can make you feel a sense of fullness since it can cause water retention and bloating but this feeling should not be significant and only last a few days while your body adjusts to the vaginal ring.
The patch is a birth control option that is a hormonal method that contains estrogen and progestin like the pill however, it does not require a daily routine. It is a small piece of plastic that sticks to your arm, buttocks, stomach or torso and is replaced on a weekly basis. The patch is a more convenient birth control option that shares many of the same benefits as the pill. Some women experience skin reactions, spotting, headaches, bloating and breast tenderness which are mainly the same side effects of the pill.
An IUD is an intrauterine device that is inserted into the uterus by your doctor. This device is T-shaped and you must choose between one that has synthetic hormones or one that contains copper. The IUD is a very effective birth control option and pregnancy only occurs in less than one out of every 100 women who use this form of birth control. If the copper IUD is inserted within five days of unprotected sex it can be used as an emergency contraception. The IUD is reversible and when a woman decides she wants to become pregnant it can be removed. It is said that the copper IUD can cause heavier bleeding while those that contain hormones tend to make a woman’s menstrual cycle lighter.
Condoms are available for both men and women and are very popular. They are the only birth control option that prevents pregnancy, diseases and infections. Condoms can be used with spermicide foam, jelly or cream to add more protection. They are an inexpensive birth control option and do not require a prescription or doctor visit.
The sponge is a birth control option that is a soft foam coated with spermicide. It resembles a doughnut and covers the cervix once its inserted into the vagina. The sponge as well as the diaphragm and cervical cap are non-hormonal birth control options which are great for women with medical conditions such as cancer where it is unsafe to use hormones. Unlike the diaphragm and cervical cap, you can purchase the sponge over the counter and skip the doctor’s visit.
The diaphragm is a flexible cup that is placed in the vagina to block sperm from entering into the uterus. This device is most effective when used in conjunction with spermicide. Your doctor can fit you for a diaphragm and you should have it replaced yearly. You should occasionally inspect your diaphragm to ensure there are no tears, holes or thinning of the latex. The device can be inserted up to 6 hours before sex and should never be left in for more than 24 hours.
- Cervical Cap
The cervical cap is very similar to the diaphragm and needs to be fitted by a health care professional. It also is most effective when used with a spermicide. The cervical cap is placed into the vagina where it keeps sperm from entering the cervix. It should be replaced yearly. The cervical cap should never stay inserted more than 48 hours. Leaving it in for an excessive amount of time could cause toxic shock syndrome.
You have several birth control options to help you avoid pregnancy that do not cause weight gain. When deciding on which method to use, you should consider your overall health, any medications or alternative remedies that may interact with hormones as well as your personal comfort.