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Here’s the Truth about Birth Control and Weight Gain

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It’s hard to know what birth control will or won’t do for everyone.

Some are concerned that using hormonal methods of birth control will cause them to gain weight. Some may have heard so much about it from friends or family that they’ve decided not to use contraception at all.

But here’s the truth: Birth control does not cause weight gain, on balance. According to the National Institutes of Health (the NIH is the nation’s medical research agency), “it is very unlikely that hormonal contraceptives cause major weight gain.”

If you are concerned about using birth control and gaining weight, the best thing you can do is make an appointment to talk to a provider at your nearest The Right Time health center. Every method is available for free or at a low-cost, and if you find a method that meets your needs and preferences, you can get it that same day.

First thing’s first: everyone’s body is different, and everyone reacts differently to birth control. Some people might gain weight on birth control, while other people lose weight. This is why weight gain and weight loss are both considered side effects of many contraceptives, so it’s hard to know what birth control will or won’t do for everyone.

One reason why it’s tough to say if birth control causes measurable weight gain in most people is because as we age, we gain weight. Getting older means our bodies go through hormonal and metabolic changes, which can cause fluid retention and increases in body fat. This means it is difficult for scientists to say with confidence that birth control causes weight gain when these natural biological processes do too. 

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The Right Time Health Centers

Our partner health centers are focused on you. They provide access to all methods of birth control and free or low-cost birth control to those who need it.