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It's actually a myth that you put on weight when taking the contraceptive pill

Major news.

27 Aug 2019

When it comes to going on The Pill, there isn’t exactly a shortage of myths. Just earlier this year it was confirmed that taking a seven-day break between your packets was completely unnecessary.

Another one of the biggest assumptions about taking the contraceptive pill is that it will make you gain weight - we never really understood why but well, kind of accepted it as being something to do with ‘hormones.'

In fact, many women have actively chosen not to go on the pill over fears that it would make them fat but the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) in the UK have just completely dismissed any truth in the claims stating that there’s, in fact, no evidence to support this AT ALL. Yep, you heard that right.

The FSRH say that women of reproductive age naturally tend to gain weight over time – regardless of whatever contraceptive method they choose to use.

Dr Sarah Hardman, director of the clinical effectiveness unit at the FSRH, said: “Women often tell us that they do not want to start or to continue contraception because they are worried that it will make them gain weight.”

Hardman added: “In studies, women gain on average a similar amount of weight over time whether they are using hormonal contraception or not. 'In other words, women may gain some weight during use of a contraceptive method, but so, on average, do women who are not using contraception.”

“After looking at all the studies available, we can say that average weight gain during use of contraceptive pills, the implant and the hormonal coil is modest and is not significantly different to weight gain with no contraception or non-hormonal contraception.”

However, there are lots of users who are able to prove that they definitely did put on weight after going on the pill - so what does this mean?

According to the experts, if you’ve noticed the scales going up it could be down to water retention rather than increased body fat - higher doses of oestrogen can increase water retention making women feel more bloated.

Of course, all kinds of contraception comes with risks and it’s important to talk through your choices with a health professional who can help find the most suitable one for you.