Oral contraception and weight gain

  1. I'm going in for my annual exam this Thursday and I'm thinking about trying a different method of birth control. My partner and I have been together for 5 years and we have both been tested for STIs multipule times with no positive results.

    When I first went on birth control, I gained 20 lbs. or so on Ortho Cyclin and Ortho Novum. When I stopped taking these pills, I lost 10 lbs. in a week. I've since tried several different types of low-estrogren birth control pills (Allesse, Low-estrogren 120 plus iron - these pills made me have 2 periods a month) and I've been pretty happy with Mircette. However, since I started taking Mircette four years ago I have gained some weight only around my waist line, I've got love handles that just won't go away even with long periods of exercising regularly and dieting. Now I realize this can be caused by a variety of things (age, eating habits, exercise etc.), but I'm wondering of it's possible that these birth control pills could make me gain weight in one area of my body?

    I'm planning to stop taking birth control this summer for a few months to see what happens (I'm moving to go to nursing school and my boyfriend is staying in Texas to take the bar before he moves), but I'm curious as to whether I should try the Nuva-ring, patch or something else. I would like to get an IUD, but I've never had a baby and I know the chances of expelling it are higher. I've used a diaphragm before and it was fine except I think the risks of preganancy are too high even when it is used properly. While condoms are the best protection against STIs, I don't think they alone are the best way to keep from getting pregnant. I don't want to take any chances this early in my career.

    Any suggestions for me?
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    About WhatToDo

    Joined: Nov '04; Posts: 83
    Senior Project Coordinator, Baylor College of Medicine


  3. by   babyktchr
    I absolutely love the Nuvring. I have problems with estrogen withdrawal, and was on mircette for a while. Problem is..I forget to take them. I got samples of the ring from my OB and I use them continuously, every three weeks I put in another so that I don't have a period. By the by, continuous birth control is now advocated by ACOG!!! I have found that I don't have the premenstrual bloat that way, and really haven't gained weight. Now I have used it and then taken it out to have a period and it is lighter and usually only about 2 days long....but that is me. I would highly recommend the Nuvaring...its easy to use and only have to remember every 3 weeks to take it out.

    Good luck