Contraception and Weight Gain :(

So I've been on the coil two years and the pill since Jan this year (Dual contraception)

It's working for the pain (endometriosis) but I've gained about 1 and a half stone and I can't shift a pound!

Has anyone else experienced weight gain due to contraceptives and can anyone give me advice on what I should do? I don't know whether to have the coil out or stop the pill.

14 Replies

  • I'm sorry Jade I don't have first-hand experience, however I used to work as a health trainer and some of my clients benefited from the hormonal control of their diet. Aim for about 100g of low Gi, low fructose carbohydrates per day, including a sensible amount of non-starchy vegetables. Have a palm-size or less of natural protein with the accompanying fat at most meals, and make up the balance of your meals with natural fat.

  • Thank you! I will have to consult my doctor as I also suffer from IBS (I'm not having much luck).

    I'm willing to try anything though.

  • I was on the pill happily for 20 years until my doctor (annoyingly) stopped prescribing them as I was over 40 and overweight! It never unduly affected my ability to lose weight - my weight see-sawed over those years depending on my latest slimming club or exercise fad at the time. When I came OFF the pill, I did gain a lot of weight in my 40's, and then lost a fair bit of weight after turning 50, then gained it again and now losing it again in my 60's.

    It is possible that certain hormones increase your appetite (in nature, your body would be preparing for pregnancy and holding on to all the nutrients), so you may need to look at what type of foods you are eating - swap carbs for protein perhaps? Protein foods will keep you full for longer. Watch the sugar intake too. Good luck!

  • I've been on the pill since I was 13 to control heavy periods, when I got diagnosed with endometriosis in 2014 they put me on the coil as well to help with pain along with other symptoms. However, I've gained a lot of weight. Before all of this I was actually unhealthier in terms of food and exercise and weighed less than I do now.

    I've tried diets, exercise etc. and the weight is not budging at all :( Just really getting me down now.

    Thank you though! x

  • Hi Jade94,

    SNAP I had the exact same problem whilst I was on the contraceptive pill and I also kept forgetting to take it so quickly decided that it was not working for me. However, my boyfriend (like most men did not like using condoms) so I went into my GP and asked about the implant which is just a tiny little strip placed in your upper left arm. You don't have to do a thing or remember to take anything and it can remain in for 3 years before you need to get it replaced.

    I find that it does not affect my weight at all the size I am is all down to no exercise and eating too much but when I put my mind to dieting I see really good results so I know that my contraception does not play a part in the gain.

    Google it and see what you think, it's not for everybody but it really works for me :-)

  • Hi,

    I've already had the implant but because of endometriosis I needed dual contraception consisting of the pill and the coil but since being on both I've gained weight :( Unfortunately the implant did not work for me at all although I didn't get weight gain with it.

    Thank you though xx

  • That's a shame :-(

    Have you tried looking up other types of contraception, I know there are some but I have only ever tried the pill and the implant. It could be that there is another that is more suitable for you :-)

  • Hi Jade

    Sorry to hear you are having a tough time. I had endo as a young woman, so I can sympathise with your problems. Have you had a look at the diets recommended if you have endo?

    Some endo sufferers find that giving up wheat and dairy products can help with the symptoms and could also help you lose weight. Eating a lot of different vegetables is always a good idea, and some diets also suggest cutting down on eating meat.

    If you have IBS, have you worked out if there are any foods that make it worse?

    Good luck, I hope you can find a diet that works for you.

  • I've looked at endo diet and IBS diets, have cut out wheat and most dairy products.

    It's not my diet that's the problem as I'm a lot healthier now that I was 5 years ago, i can't think of anything else but being on the pill and the coil :( xx

  • Is there a different pill you could take perhaps?

  • I didn't think of that, thank you xx

  • Sounds like you are having a tough time :-(

    I put on over 20lbs in two months when I had the implant put in, a 20% increase in my weight, and then a gradual weight gain after that.

    I've recently started the NHS 12 week plan though, and I have started to lose weight. Before that I tried a few options but none worked.

    My guess is the hormones increased my apetite, or made me more tired, or something which made it more likely I would eat more, or snack more, or something.

    Straight-forward calorie counting, and regular exercise, are working for me where 'eat as much as you want but only these types of foods' did not - I guess because I ate too much of the stuff I was allowed!

    I dont know if that helps, all the evidence says contraception shouldn't make a difference to your weight, but it felt like it did to me.

    Good luck, and keep posting to let us know how you get on. I hope it improves for you!

  • It says in the leaflets with contraception that a side effect is weight gain and it is quite common.

    I can normally loose weight easily and have always been around 10 to 10.5 stone even when I was extremely unhealthy.

    I now eat veg (never used to) don't have takeaways, chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks etc. But gained 1.6 stone! And it's all since being on the pill AND the coil.

    I don't know whether to stop one contraception or not xx

  • I think its a decision only you can make. I really do feel for you, I know how frustrating it is.

    The information leaflets do say that, but research tends to say they make very little difference. Doctors and women say they do make a difference. None of the evidence either way is very satisfactory.

    The NHS plan is working for me, and I would rather stick with my contraception for various reasons - even if it does cause weight gain and make weight loss and maintenance harder - but only you can decide what is right for you.

    Have you talked it over with your doctor? I would hope they would be sympathetic and able to help you identify any alternatives. x

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