Period, birth control and weight gain, anyone has experience to share?

Feeling sick yet managed to stay on calories target, actually below the 1400 target, about 1000. Guess just a bad cold, but I've not felt this achy and sick for a while, and that kinda of uncomfortable feeling when I get my period.

Was talking to a client who complained about her weight gain after inserting contraceptive implant (it's true, she was kinda skinny before the implant), which got me thinking: is that a possible cause of my weight gain? I've never been skinny, but in my early and mid 20s I was relatively slim and fit, last time I was quite chubby, I had my last implant and a lot pressure from working on my dissertation and planning a wedding.

I've had my currant implant for about 2 years and half, been through some quite stressful time too (having said that, I lost quite a bit weight after giving birth, and I didn't find raising my son easy, plus we had to move home when he was 6 months old).

So my question is: does anyone have similar experience? Is it the implant or the stress? Or both?


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14 Replies

  • I got the mirena coil because I thought the pill was making me put on weight... managed to lose over 2 stone with mirena in. But we're all different, we all have different hormone balances, other factors etc... Stress is def big factor though. I would focus on that...

  • Whilst I don't have any recent experience of birth control or pregnancy, hormones play a large role in controlling weight and body fat. They are discovering new hormones every day, and body fat produced many of them.

    So to answer your question, yes, both hormones and stress affect weight loss 😕

    But I'm afraid the solution is diet and exercise. Also I have to say 1000 calories seems very low, especially if your target is 1400.

    I hope someone more knowledgeable can offer other suggestions?

    Best wishes


  • Don't worry, Anna. I'm not trying to starve myself. You know I always think this weight loss process is going to be long journey. I'm motivated by long term health, so crash diet is not my thing.

    It's more to do with my cold, sore throat making swallow food really difficult, put me off eating. Today my total calories 1173, again, I had soup for 2 meals, other things just hurt my throat. And I didn't particularly count calories when I cook it (which I usually do the night before), I just put everything in slow cooker for the last 2 days and have subway sandwich for lunch. Partly because I was so busy, partly cause I've not been well.

    I managed to get most of the work done, so will start packing tomorrow for my holiday, don't like feeling unwell when I go on holiday, but there's nothing I can do I guess.

    Hope you have a good weekend!


  • Have a lovely holiday 😊 Where are you going?

  • Thanks! we are going to Marrakesh :)

  • Ooooh lovely 😊have a great time 😊

  • thanks:) fingers crossed i won't put on too much weight (best if i can maintain it), will try to follow your advice!

  • It's so hard to pinpoint a cause isn't it! I used to have depo hormone injections and I'm sure they were the reason I gained weight. And just couldn't shift it. Now back on the pill, also hormones but different I suppose, and am losing now. Stress effects many aspects of health, including weight, and having small kids makes in hard to spend time on your own needs too.

    I'd echo Anna though - 1000 call sounds too low - your body will go into starvation mode and you won't lose weight if you don't eat enough calories. Have you tried eating 1400 ?

    Good luck with the coming week

  • Please eat more !

  • Hello, not sure what "the experts" say, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that hormone-based contraceptives can make women put on weight. Whether that's because they muck up your metabolism, or possibly make you feel hungrier and/or more moody and therefore comfort-eating, is difficult to say.

    You could try having a month of very strict calorie counting, so you can be as sure as possible that you aren't eating more than you think, and gather some evidence. eg Does this make you feel very hungry, do you lose weight, does the weight stay the same even though you have cut your calories? Depending on what happens, it might help you decide if whether you'd find weight loss easier if you used a different form of contraception.

    I'm not medically-qualified - better say that! Just someone who has lost quite a bit of weight and learned through experience what helps and what doesn't. You could ask your GP if there is any evidence of your particular form of birth control making it hard to control weight.

  • Thanks! I think this is a very good suggestion: having a month of very strict calorie counting, so you can be as sure as possible that you aren't eating more than you think, and gather some evidence.

    I mean, my plan is to take a year to lose 10kg and maintain it, I wrote quite a bit in my first few posts explaining my I need to lose weight and my motivation. In the past, my mum noticed my weight gain when I was using implant, and my weight loss when it's removed (there were other factors contributing to weight loss, i.e. breastfeeding, of course). So it's always on my mind that hormone change maybe a contributing factor to my weight gain.

    I think I'll adjust my plan for this year, as you suggested, follow NHS 12 weeks plan till September (strict calories counting), gather evidence and decide whether I want to change to a different type of contraception (I'm due to remove my implant in October).

  • When I first went on the pill when I was 17, over the course of 2 or 3 years I'd put on around 2 stone seemingly because of it. I switched from the combined pill to a progesterone only pill, and from there I mostly maintained (until I went on certain anti-depressants, but that's another story!). So yes, hormonal contraception can certainly make a difference.

  • I had the implant put in 6 years ago after the birth of my son. I put on about 1 stone 5lbs in the space of 4 months and I put it down to being hungry with breast feeding and tired. I started to lose the weight slowly, although I found it hard to get past my pre-pregnancy weight. I had it replaced at the 3 year mark and found over a month I gained 10lbs! I just couldn't stop eating and was constantly hungry. This one was also moving in my arm and hurting a fair bit and I felt really down as well, so for these 3 reasons I asked for it to be removed after 1 month and went back onto the combined pill (kind of against medical advice).

    I thought the weight would come back off, but I found it really hard to get back to healthy eating and although I lost some weight, it wasn't loads and I stayed at about 7lbs loss for a year and a half. It's now come back off though and I'm finally below my pre-pregnancy weight. The implant just didn't agree with me at all, although it is a very effective contraception, and the effects do settle down as the hormone dose decreases as it ages. Luckily I'm no longer obese, which was one of the risk factors for the combined pill and I've found my PCOS symptoms have also decreased.

    Sorry a bit of an essay!

  • Thanks for sharing! I enjoyed reading your story, glad it has a happy ending. I'll have to consider other means of contraception if I follow strict calories counting weight loss plan and it still doesn't work, which is not going to be easy, I'm a bit scared of coil, and I was never good with taking pills.

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