McMaster University

Demystifying Medicine
Seminar Series

Does the Birth Control Pill Lead to Weight Gain?

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With popularity of the birth control pill on the rise, many myths exist about the side effects that result when taking the pill. This video will address one of the most popular myths that taking the pill causes weight gain. This video explains what the birth control pill is, the different types of birth control pills, how the pill works and if long-term weight gain can result from using the pill.

— Video by Raisa Ahmed, Jasmine Aulakh, Leena Anis and Beth Cohen

References:

  • Medical Uses of the Birth Control Pill. Center for Young Women's Health. Retrieved 16 Oct. 2017.
  • Hall, K., White, K., Reame, N. and Westhoff, C. (2010). Studying the Use of Oral Contraception: A Review of Measurement Approaches. Journal of Women's Health, 19(12), pp.2203-2210.
  • Freeman, S. (2017). How the Birth Control Pill Works. HowStuffWorks. Retrieved 23 Oct. 2017.
  • Stachenfeld, N.S., Silva, C., Keefe, D.L., Kokoszka, C.A. and Nadel, E.R. 1999. Effects of oral contraceptives on body fluid regulation. Journal of Applied Physiology, 87(3), pp.1016-1025.
  • Stachenfeld, N.S., Dipietro, L., Palter, S.F., Nadel, E.R. 1998. Estrogen influences osmotic secretion of AVP and body water balance in postmenopausal women. American Journal of Physiology, 247(1), pp.187-195.
  • Stachenfeld, N.S., 2008. Sex hormone effects on body fluid regulation. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, 36(3), pp.152.
  • Forsling, M.L., Stomberg, P., Akerlund, M. 1982. Effect of ovarian steroids on vasopressin secretion. Journal of Endocrinology, 95, pp.147-151.
  • Coney, P., Washenik, K., Langley, R.G., DiGiovanna, J.J., Harrison D.D. 2001. Weight change and adverse event incidence with a low-dose oral contraceptive: two randomized, placebo- controlled trials. Contraception. 63(3), pp. 297-302.
  • Moore, L.L., Valuck, R., McDougall, C., Fink, W. 1995. A comparative study of one-year weight gain among users of medroxyprogesterone acetate, levonorgestrel implants, and oral contraceptives. Contraception, 52 (4), pp. 215-219.
  • Reubinoff, B.E., Berry, E., Grubstein, A., Schenker, J.G., Meirow, D., Brzezinski, A. 1995. Effects of low-dose estrogen oral contraceptives on weight, body composition, and fat distribution in young women. Fertility and Sexuality, 63(3), pp. 516-521.
  • Ramos, R., Apelo, R., Osteria, T., Vilar, E. 1989. A comparative analysis of three different dose combinations of oral contraceptives. Contraception, 39(2), pp. 165-1771
  • Woutersz, T.B., Korba, V.D. 1988. Five-year, multicenter study of a triphasic, low- dose, combination oral contraceptive. International Journal of Fertility, 33, pp. 901-907.