Birth Control Pills Do Not Cause Weight Gain

Ladies, if you’re gaining weight and looking to cut something from your diet – it doesn’t have to be your oral contraceptive. According to researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University, the birth control pill does not cause weight gain, HealthNews.com reported.

Researchers divided rhesus macaque monkeys – whose reproductive system is almost identical to that of humans –  into obese and normal weight groups and then administered doses of oral contraceptives to them for eight months. Over that time period, the researchers monitored the monkeys’ weight, food intake, body fat, activity level and lean muscle mass.

The weight of the normal group remained stable over time, while the obese group actually lost 8.5 percent of their weight and 12 percent of their body fat.  There were no changes in food intake, activity, or lean muscle mass for either group. These findings are significant because, “concern about weight gain is one of the main reasons why women may avoid or discontinue birth control, which in turn places them at greater risk for an unplanned pregnancy,” according to Alison Edelman M.D., a physician and researcher in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University and lead author of the study.

When taken correctly, oral contraceptives are over 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancies (though they do not protect against STDs, so condoms are still necessary). Also, women who take oral contraceptives are about 50 percent less likely to develop ovarian and endometrial cancer than those who have never used them. The study will be published in next month’s issue of Human Reproduction.

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