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Article

Birth Control Pills and Their Impact on Your Body Composition

Friday, March 25th 2022 10:00am 7 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Are you taking birth control pills? They are convenient and effective, but are there any downsides to using them? Weight gain is a common complaint from women using them. Let’s take a look at whether or not birth control pills contribute to weight gain, how testosterone affects you, and some tips for supporting your natural hormones and leveraging them for better athletic performance. In addition, let’s take a look at some non-hormonal options for birth control.

Do birth control pills cause weight gain?

Whether or not birth control pills contribute to weight gain is a major reason women resist taking them. Studies show that the weight gain caused by birth control pills is most likely water retention or is minimal. Still, a Cochrane Review article published in 2014 concluded that the “available evidence was insufficient to determine the effect of combination contraceptives (Ethinyl estradiol and progestin) on weight, but no large effect was evident.”

According to peer-reviewed studies, it doesn’t appear that birth control pills cause weight gain. More evidence is necessary to address the concerns that women have regarding this issue.

What studies do show is that the pill may have a negative effect on body composition and contribute to a decline in muscle mass, overall strength, and lower metabolism. Hence the feeling that the pill causes weight gain.

The link between the pill and a woman’s overall health is more complex than originally thought. And, the pill affects women differently. It’s important to understand how the pill may impact your weight, body composition, and the effect testosterone has on your body.

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