Contraceptives and Weight Gain

Nurses General Nursing


I am currently training to compete in a bodybuilding show, have been lifting for six years, but have only been on the "Patch" for 3 mos. My question/problem is I think I have been retaining some extra fluid from this. I have gained 5 #s but originally contributed it to my training....however, now I am thinking it is WATER. I don't know if it is all psychological because I know the effects of estrogen on the female body, but I am really feeling puffy. I work out strenuously, eat right religously, and do not drink alcohol. What's with my puffy tummy?? Anyone else have a "Patch" horror story? I think I need to get off it, but don't know what other B.C. pill to choose? Suggestions? Yah, I know there are other B.C. options, but this one is really convienient for me.

Sorry for the bad typing, been craming for a NUR 1201 final.


1,326 Posts

Hi Sunny,

I can only tell you about my personal experience with BC pills. I have been on them 3 times in the past 10 years, and decided about 2 years ago that I was done with them entirely.

I was able to conclude that everytime I was on them I gained a lot of weight. I'm talking anywhere from 15-40 lbs. over my normal "not on the pill" weight. And it wasn't that I just looked fat but I was kind of a "puffy" fat, that's the only way I can describe it. Each time I was on a different type of pill and it still didn't help. The last pill I was on I had a lot of issues with it affecting my emotions and as soon as I stopped it I was back to normal.

I don't know what type of experience you have had with pills, patches in the past but if you do not like what you are currently on it is worth it to try something new.

Hi Sunny!

I've been on Depo Prevara for 5 years now and it has been great for me. I actually lost weight when I went on it. I should note however, that this is rare. My doctor said that while it can effect weight either way, it is much more common to gain. But it is really convient because you only need to get the shot one every 12 weeks. I experienced side effects for about for the first six months that I was on it (first two shots). Mainly, just a decrease in sex drive. But since then, everything is back to normal.


31 Posts

I think I would rather gain five pounds rather than have a decrease in sex drive... about the Depro: were you overweight to begin with? How much did you lose? Did you have a decrease in appeptite or did it fall off? Have you had any kids? Sooooooo intereseted in this shot, let me know. This is my last cycle for the "Patch," my hubby hates the mood swings... wich brings us right back to the decrease in sex drive :)


415 Posts

A hard man is good to find.


I can't speak for myself, but my daughter hated the shot, always forgot to take the pill, but loves the patch. I wish it would make her gain weight...she's a skinny-minny.


31 Posts

Okay, I am a dork. . . but I have to ask What is the ROTF, I think I got the LMAO. Is it good or bad? I have gotten this before and felt way too geeky to ask, HEEELLLLPPPPP :)

nurseygrrl, LPN

445 Posts

Specializes in HIV/AIDS, Dementia, Psych.

ROTF=Rolling on the floor

I had a love/hate relationship with Depo. I didn't menstruate which was fabulous! No cramps, no bloating, no remembering a pill. The 30# I gained was the hate part! STILL trying to lose it after a year off the stuff!

Well, the decrease in sex drive won't bother you any; though it might your husband! It really was only temporary though...just a few months and everything was back to normal. I was a healthy weight when I started the pill and dropped 5-10 pounds. That too, stopped after a few months and I gained it back eventually. As another person stated here, I stopped menstrating which was and still is WONDERFUL. Also, only having to remember to get a shot every 12 weeks leaves little room for error. I am quite happy with it but some people do experience weight gain and or mood swings. Most people that I know who hated Depo, stopped getting it after the first shot, and like I said, it took about six months or two shots for the side effects that I did encounter, to go away.


29 Posts

I have gained weight over the adult years (33 years old) I would really like to try to tell my self that it was my birthcontrol methods but really it was my lifestyle... i am working on it...


59 Posts

I was on Depo-Provera for about 9 months, after having taken BCP's for about 2 years. I was not overweight when I started on the shot but gained about 15 pounds after the shot. My sex drive bottomed out, and I was moody all the time. I also still menstruated, sometimes in the most suprising and inappropriate times. Needless to say, I went back on the pill and have been for about 2 years. Lost the weight, too, and my lack of sex drive and moodiness is gone (most of the time). ;)


349 Posts

I gained 25# on Depo but was otherwise happy with it. Amennorhea was a pleasant side effect. I don't recall any change in sex drive, but mine is fairly low on any kind of hormonal contraceptive.

Specializes in Peds ER.

Do lots of research on Depo before you decide to use it...which I'm sure you will anyway!

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