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TOPIC: Quitting birth control to help with weight loss?

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January 29, 2012 9:58 PM
I am considering stopping my oral birth control to see if it will help me lose weight.

So I have been taking this oral birth control for 1 year 3.5 months. Now within the first 1-3 months I gained 28 lbs. (I can't for the life of me remember how long I just know it was between doctor visits-I even tried looking up the info via my insurance but not successfully). In total since I began taking it I have gained 45lbs.

Before this birth control I was on another oral birth control but it made me crazy, so I switched. Also I DO NOT remember feeling the constant drive to eat before my current birth control. I can eat what should be a perfectly filling meal and still feel starving. I can wait an hour, drink water, whatever and still feel sooo hungry.

Before this birth control I might have craved food, but hunger (following eating) was not an issue.

I honestly don't know if its the birth control or its just because I have more weight to "maintain" now.

I just wanted to hear other women's experiences or insight on this issue.
  14560235
January 29, 2012 10:09 PM
i recently quit using oral birth control as well and i'm noticing that the weight is coming off a bit more easily. keep in mind, however, that this may not be due to getting off the pill. i've been doing a lot of work to manage my emotional eating and i think that has made the biggest difference. i actually quit the pill for other health reasons but if you feel like it's having an adverse effect on your body, then by all means get off it.
January 29, 2012 10:15 PM
I was on birth control for almost 10 years, and recently went off. The only thing I noticed was my water retention and bloating wasn't as bad before my period, which was nice. But everyone is different.
January 29, 2012 10:20 PM
You should talk to your doctor before you stop. There are more than weight you should consider, which they are showing in studies now that birth control is not causing people to gain weight. Especially with the newer medications coming out with the lower amounts of hormones.

Are you using it only as birth control or to regulate your cycle in some manner? And do you plan to use other methods to prevent pregnancy?

Personally I wouldn't stop the birth control. And if you feel the pill is not the best option for you there are five billion other methods. Including implants, IUDs like the Mirena , patches, and vaginal rings.
January 29, 2012 10:29 PM
Be careful. I had the same idea about two years ago. It worked- my appetite was much, much lower and I found I could actually go 5-6 hours before even thinking about being hungry (something I've never been able to do on all my years of being on bcp). It was great- until I realized my hair was falling out. Apparently that's a common side effect of stopping bcp. I went back on it and now about a year and half later my hair is just starting to go back to normal- it almost looked worse while it was starting to grow back because I had a million short/baby hairs that would stand up even with lots of gel. Now I've just learned to live with the increased appetite on bcp. I eat breakfast around 8 30, lunch around noon, afternoon snack around 3, dinner around 6-7, and some sort of dessert/evening snack around 8-9. It works for me.
Edited by swimmchick87 On January 29, 2012 10:31 PM
  11435536
January 29, 2012 10:32 PM
QUOTE:

You should talk to your doctor before you stop. There are more than weight you should consider, which they are showing in studies now that birth control is not causing people to gain weight. Especially with the newer medications coming out with the lower amounts of hormones.

Are you using it only as birth control or to regulate your cycle in some manner? And do you plan to use other methods to prevent pregnancy?

Personally I wouldn't stop the birth control. And if you feel the pill is not the best option for you there are five billion other methods. Including implants, IUDs like the Mirena , patches, and vaginal rings.


What she said. ALWAYS consult with your Dr. before stopping any medication. It's true, The Pill is less responsible for weight gain than it used to be in the past. Best of luck to you!
  11232678
January 29, 2012 10:41 PM
QUOTE:

Be careful. I had the same idea about two years ago. It worked- my appetite was much, much lower and I found I could actually go 5-6 hours before even thinking about being hungry (something I've never been able to do on all my years of being on bcp). It was great- until I realized my hair was falling out. Apparently that's a common side effect of stopping bcp. I went back on it and now about a year and half later my hair is just starting to go back to normal- it almost looked worse while it was starting to grow back because I had a million short/baby hairs that would stand up even with lots of gel. Now I've just learned to live with the increased appetite on bcp. I eat breakfast around 8 30, lunch around noon, afternoon snack around 3, dinner around 6-7, and some sort of dessert/evening snack around 8-9. It works for me.


Does this mean you either have to be on BCP for the rest of your life, or lose your hair!??? Did you see a doctor? That terrifies me!! I plan on trying for babies one day and getting off the pill!!
January 29, 2012 10:41 PM
Getting knocked up will put on a lot more than a little pill. The effect of oral birth controls on weight has been widely over stated. For some people weight goes up, but for some it goes down and most of the weight difference is due to water balance. I just say this because a friend of mine thought that she would stop taking hers two years ago and is now 120 lbs heavier with two kids. I'm not saying that you don't have control over your situation, but I know that I can't take that chance right now.
January 29, 2012 11:25 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Be careful. I had the same idea about two years ago. It worked- my appetite was much, much lower and I found I could actually go 5-6 hours before even thinking about being hungry (something I've never been able to do on all my years of being on bcp). It was great- until I realized my hair was falling out. Apparently that's a common side effect of stopping bcp. I went back on it and now about a year and half later my hair is just starting to go back to normal- it almost looked worse while it was starting to grow back because I had a million short/baby hairs that would stand up even with lots of gel. Now I've just learned to live with the increased appetite on bcp. I eat breakfast around 8 30, lunch around noon, afternoon snack around 3, dinner around 6-7, and some sort of dessert/evening snack around 8-9. It works for me.


Does this mean you either have to be on BCP for the rest of your life, or lose your hair!??? Did you see a doctor? That terrifies me!! I plan on trying for babies one day and getting off the pill!!


I agree with the previous poster. There most be a middle ground between staying on BCP for the rest of your life and losing your hair. There is a serious hormonal imbalance here that needs to be addressed by a medical professional.
January 29, 2012 11:33 PM
I would consult your Dr and make sure you have another form of protection! I did a similar thing just over seven years ago and this week will be my daughters 7th birthday and I was much bigger after having her than I ever was on the pill!
January 29, 2012 11:39 PM
Yup, have a chat to your doctor about options - there might be a pill, or something else like Implanon (implant) that has a lower dose of hormones that might suit you better.
I was on the pill for year, with a few years break then back on it again, then off that, had a break and then Implanon.
Every single time I've stopped taking hormonal birth control (including Implanon) I've felt better within a very short space of time. More focussed, more active, mood better. I really don't know if this is psychological or physiological but it's enough to make me decide to give hormonal option a miss. Which is a pain, because the other options aren't so convenient!
  4147547
January 29, 2012 11:45 PM
QUOTE:

I am considering stopping my oral birth control to see if it will help me lose weight.

So I have been taking this oral birth control for 1 year 3.5 months. Now within the first 1-3 months I gained 28 lbs. (I can't for the life of me remember how long I just know it was between doctor visits-I even tried looking up the info via my insurance but not successfully). In total since I began taking it I have gained 45lbs.

Before this birth control I was on another oral birth control but it made me crazy, so I switched. Also I DO NOT remember feeling the constant drive to eat before my current birth control. I can eat what should be a perfectly filling meal and still feel starving. I can wait an hour, drink water, whatever and still feel sooo hungry.

Before this birth control I might have craved food, but hunger (following eating) was not an issue.

I honestly don't know if its the birth control or its just because I have more weight to "maintain" now.

I just wanted to hear other women's experiences or insight on this issue.


My first thought when I read this was, it could also make you gain weight... in the form of a baby...
I would talk to your doctor. I stopped taking Birth Control due to other health risk associated with it, and I gained weight, not in the form or a baby. I think it was just a coincidence but it did happen. Talk to you doctor, maybe that just isnt the right pill for you. There are so many options out there.
  12033057
January 29, 2012 11:50 PM
As a retired RN, I would say that in my experience, many women lose weight after getting off the pill. Many, many medications cause you to gain weight, and it is a side effect that is usually not addressed when you are being prescribed the med. I went of an antidepressant (after retiring, go figure!), and in a month I had lost 20 pounds. No dieting, no exercising. I didn't even know while I went for my check up a month later.

So, the moral of this story is, ASK the doctor if the med you are about to get on is one that increases your appetite. If, she/he doesn't know (usually the case) ask the pharmacist.

Good luck and don't get yourself preggers!!embarassed
January 30, 2012 3:56 AM
QUOTE:

Be careful. I had the same idea about two years ago. It worked- my appetite was much, much lower and I found I could actually go 5-6 hours before even thinking about being hungry (something I've never been able to do on all my years of being on bcp). It was great- until I realized my hair was falling out. Apparently that's a common side effect of stopping bcp. I went back on it and now about a year and half later my hair is just starting to go back to normal- it almost looked worse while it was starting to grow back because I had a million short/baby hairs that would stand up even with lots of gel. Now I've just learned to live with the increased appetite on bcp. I eat breakfast around 8 30, lunch around noon, afternoon snack around 3, dinner around 6-7, and some sort of dessert/evening snack around 8-9. It works for me.


this is very scary! i have been on the pill for about 6 and a half years and have been considering coming off but the thought of having to deal with certain side effects really terrify me. i use to have terrible period cramps prior to the pill and though i feel i experience mood swings because of the pill, thinking about dealing with horrible cramps again is what is hampering my decision.

with regards to my weight, i didn't notice any increase in weight because of the pill. i was 26 when i went on the pill and it wasn't until i reached 30 that i started to put weight on.
  9492896
January 30, 2012 6:56 AM
I gained weight on BC too. The long term hormone ones (implants, Mirena, etc) really dork up my hormones. I got off the pill for 6 months expecting to lose a ton of weight as I was convinced it was the pill too...guess what! I lost nothing!!! Evidently it was emotional and habitual problems adding to my weight gain. I got back on the pill; a verly low dose one, Yaz. It controls my moods a bit and has very little impact on hormones...

Might want to shop around with your doctor to find the right one for you.
  7205953
January 30, 2012 7:14 AM
I never gained while on BC, but I did have all sorts of hormone balance issues and eventually came off of them for that reason. Talk to your doctor before you make any decisions. Take a look at your diet during that time frame and see if there could be another reason for your weight gain. Are you just eating more? Are you eating things that aren't so good for you? Are you exercising? 45lbs seems like a lot to attribute to just BC, I've never heard anyone have that type of a reaction. Definitely talk to your doc.
January 30, 2012 7:15 AM
QUOTE:

I gained weight on BC too. The long term hormone ones (implants, Mirena, etc) really dork up my hormones. I got off the pill for 6 months expecting to lose a ton of weight as I was convinced it was the pill too...guess what! I lost nothing!!! Evidently it was emotional and habitual problems adding to my weight gain. I got back on the pill; a verly low dose one, Yaz. It controls my moods a bit and has very little impact on hormones...

Might want to shop around with your doctor to find the right one for you.


That's funny that you said Mirena messed with your hormones. The dose from it is very very low, much less than the implants. I've used Mirena for 8 years now and it has had the least effect on my hormones. I had to come off BC because the pills were screwing me up royally and the Mirena was much more stable.
January 30, 2012 10:19 AM
LOL Of course I am eating more!!! That's the point. I am hungry all the time and I eat more because of it. Obviously if I was awesome and had willpower of iron I could ignore it. So theoretically the pill isn't causing me to gain weight, just causing me to feel like a bottomless pit of hunger. And yes, my previous birth control didn't really cause this appetite increase, but it did make me crazy, so I can't go back to it or any other pill with more than small doses of hormones. I know there are supposed to be lots of option but in the end for me it doesn't boil down to that many options. Yasmin or Yaz might be an option if it didn't have so many scary incidents related to it. I really feel stuck.

I know what studies say about the issue (doesn't cause weight gain), but I've learned over the course of taking several prescription meds that what the studies say and what actually happens can be 2 different things.

Which is why I wanted to hear actual experiences.

Also I did consult the doctor, almost a year ago when I first gained a lot of the weight. He prescribed me an amphetamine weight loss supplement for appetite control. I have anxiety issues so that didn't go over too well. But I know if I paid out the 100 bucks to go see him he would just say what he did a year ago. It's up to me.

I'm still not decided because well I would probably end up back on the birth control anyway and have to combat the appetite then.
  14560235
January 30, 2012 5:29 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

Be careful. I had the same idea about two years ago. It worked- my appetite was much, much lower and I found I could actually go 5-6 hours before even thinking about being hungry (something I've never been able to do on all my years of being on bcp). It was great- until I realized my hair was falling out. Apparently that's a common side effect of stopping bcp. I went back on it and now about a year and half later my hair is just starting to go back to normal- it almost looked worse while it was starting to grow back because I had a million short/baby hairs that would stand up even with lots of gel. Now I've just learned to live with the increased appetite on bcp. I eat breakfast around 8 30, lunch around noon, afternoon snack around 3, dinner around 6-7, and some sort of dessert/evening snack around 8-9. It works for me.


Does this mean you either have to be on BCP for the rest of your life, or lose your hair!??? Did you see a doctor? That terrifies me!! I plan on trying for babies one day and getting off the pill!!


I have PCOS, which is a big part of it. Hair loss is a side effect of PCOS which bcp can stop/prevent. Yes, I did see a dr. and she told me that even many women without pcos lose hair when they go off bcp. In "nomral" (aka without pcos) women, it's supposed to balance itself out after a few years. I knew I'd want to go back on bcp at some point, so even without the pcos it would be silly to wait for it to "balance itself out". I understand of course if you're trying to have a baby it would be worth it, but to go off of it just because doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
Edited by swimmchick87 On January 30, 2012 5:36 PM
  11435536
January 30, 2012 5:33 PM
I hate what the pill did to me and got my tubes tied as soon as I could find a doctor who would do it. Needless to say, anyone even thinking of maybe having more kids in the future can't go this route and even if you're %100 sure you never want any or more kids, it's nearly impossible to get it done when you're young. For some reason a guy can get 'fixed' in his early 20s, unmarried, no kids, but good luck with that if you're a woman.
January 30, 2012 6:17 PM
I'm on the pill, and I have absolutely no problem at all losing weight except for when I cheat. I know medications can affect everyone differently, but perhaps you should talk to your doc about it before quitting it. Perhaps there is another reason you are gaining weight, that should be addressed.
  12800241
January 30, 2012 6:35 PM
Long ago I did the BC shot and gained a lot of weight. I have been on and off the BCP for a long time (over 15 years) and for me being off the pill is not worth it. It makes me have horrible (like pschyo lady) PMS and horrible heavy long periods. I considered getting and IUD or even having my tubes tied until my Dr reminded me that I was going to be raging PMS lady balled up with cramps and bleeding like a stuck pig if I went off the pill. I decided that I would stick with the BCP.

If the BCP is not controlling any other symptoms you may want to give it a try. Just don't get knocked up.
January 30, 2012 6:37 PM
Discuss different options with your doctor. There may be another bc that agrees with you better.

Me, personally - NOTHING could make me stop my birth control, haha noway
  8101862
January 30, 2012 6:38 PM
Consult with your physician so you can find something that works for you. If you are not ready to have kids, I hope you find a birth control that works for you rather than just giving it up altogether. I'm sorry you're going through this and wish you the best of luck.
January 30, 2012 6:39 PM
You know it's more likely the BC is making you more hungry and you are eating more without realizing it? I lost 56 pounds on Yaz, relatively easily.
  11570105

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