Unfortunately, birth control and weight gain often accompany each other. That’s because, the majority of birth control therapies contain synthetic hormones. These hormones change your body’s biochemistry profile into one of a late perimenopause or menopausal woman. That’s the time of life when gaining weight is easy and losing it is not.
Many women are on birth control therapy. With the exception of a copper intrauterine device, all such therapies contain hormones. These include oral contraceptives (the pill), injections (Depo Provera) and hormone-containing intrauterine devices (Mirena).
Doctors are quick to start such treatments for many reasons such as contraception, irregular menstrual bleeding, painful menses, endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome, to name a few.
However, the doctors often fail to consider or discuss the negative impacts of such treatments on your health. And they most certainly don’t mention your body’s about to behave menopausally!
Basically, the low-dose estrogens and progestins or the low-dose progestins alone are being liberated into your body from the birth control. These hormones significantly suppress the production of your natural hormones, preventing ovulation and offering symptom relief from dysfunctional menstrual bleeding. But when your natural hormone production is depressed,, you have the biochemistry of an older female, hence the health risks and issues of a perimenopausal/menopausal woman, such as:
- Lower rate of metabolism*
- Weight gain and increased body fat
- Reduced muscle mass
- Increased risk of stroke and heart attacks
- Increased risk of breast cancer
- Water retention
- Poor sleep
- Mental Fog
*Studies have shown that declining estrogen levels lead to a lower metabolic rate which can be reversed when levels are restored with bio-identical estrogen therapy.
Synthetic vs. Bio-identical (Natural) Hormones
Most birth control therapies use synthetic hormones. The synthetic progestins used are particularly horrible. Most are modified androgens/testosterone that have limited progesterone activity, but not the full scope of activity related to natural progesterone hormone. Natural progesterone is a calming, anti-anxiety hormone. Also, natural progesterone can negate some of the estrogen-stimulating activity within tissues, such as the breast.
This is not true with synthetic progestins. In fact, the synthetic progestins in all the hormone-containing birth control therapies add further cellular stimulation of the breast tissue. This is due to its retained androgen/testosterone activity (remember, progestins are modified testosterone molecules). This is why studies show that the use of progestins significantly increase the risk of breast cancer.
Overall, hormone-containing birth control therapy is bad for your health. They age your biochemistry prematurely by increasing your body fat and decreasing your metabolism. This leads directly to weight gain and difficulty with weight loss.
Birth Control and Weight Gain. Is There a Solution?
If it is not possible or desired to stop birth control, supplementing with bio-identical hormones or use of herbal therapies may improve the metabolism and biochemistry while preserving the desired effects of the birth control therapy. This will allow more ideal results when attempting to lose weight, reduce body fat and increase muscle mass through a weight loss program. Find out more about bio-identical hormones for women.