Weight Gain Fears Sway Some Women In Birth Control Choices

Weight Gain Fears Sway Some Women In Birth Control Choices

Concerns about weight gain may be driving contraception choices for women, a new study suggests.

Women who are overweight or obese are less likely than women who are not overweight or obese to use the birth control pill and other hormonal contraceptive methods.

Weight gain is one of the most commonly cited reasons why women stop using hormonal contraception, and therefore may play a role in the risk of unintended pregnancies, says Cynthia H. Chuang, professor of medicine and public health sciences at Penn State.

Although oral contraception likely does not cause weight gain, many women attribute increasing weight with the birth control pill. The birth control shot has been associated with weight gain in younger women.

For a new study, published in the journal Contraception, researchers examined demographic and survey data from almost 1,000 privately insured women in Pennsylvania. They categorized weight category based on body mass index (BMI), a measure of body size based on height and weight.

The findings suggest that overweight and obese women were more likely than women who are not overweight or obese to choose forms of birth control known as long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), and less likely to use methods like the pill, the shot, the patch, and the ring.

There was also a trend toward overweight and obese women to be more likely to use non-prescription methods such as condoms, withdrawal, natural family planning, or no method.

Long-acting reversible contraceptives include intrauterine devices, commonly known as IUDs, and the contraceptive implant. LARCs do not contain estrogen, which some women believe causes weight gain.

“What we think may be happening is that women who are overweight and obese may be more likely to choose methods other than the pill or the shot because of fear of weight gain,” Chuang says. “As a result, they are choosing both more effective methods (LARCS) and less effective, non-prescription methods.”

Researchers found that 23 percent of overweight and 21 percent of obese women used LARCs, which are the most effective forms of birth control. In contrast, only 6 percent of under-weight and normal-weight women used LARCs in the study.

“We were actually glad to see that overweight and obese women were at least more likely to choose LARCs because I was expecting to see these women more likely to use non-prescription methods,” Chuang says.

Heavier women also were more likely than normal-weight women to use less effective, non-prescription birth control methods—such as condoms—or no method at all. However, these results did not reach statistical significance, Chuang says.

The researchers also evaluated whether perception of weight influenced contraceptive choice. In the study, half of the women perceived themselves to be overweight, although only around 42 percent of them were overweight or obese based on BMI. This perception, however, did not appear to influence birth control choice.

“Women may be worried about weight gain when they’re making decisions about birth control, so clinicians need to be aware of that,” Chung says. “It could be an opportunity to counsel women about LARCs, which are more effective forms of contraception.”

Source: Penn State

Related Books

{amazonWS:searchindex=Books;keywords=birth control methods;maxresults=3}


 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

More Articles By This Author

You May Also Like

INNERSELF VOICES

illustration of a film strip with various scenic pictures on each frame
Designing a New Future for Yourself
by Carl Greer PhD, PsyD
In the physical world, things have a past and a future, a beginning, and an end. For example, I’m…
teacher standing in front of students in an open classroom
Becoming Passionate About Public Education Again
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
We are almost all lucky to have someone in our lives to encourage and motivate us and try to show…
Aurora photo by Valerie Pond, October 10, 2021, Yellowknife, NT, Canada
Horoscope Current Week: October 11 - 17, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
Flower growing through a chain-link fence
So Many Questions... So Many Answers?
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
We go through life with so many questions. Some are simple. What day is it? What will I have for…
rainbow over a field
Give Yourself Time, Be Kind, and Heal in Your Own Way
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Unfortunately many of us have become victims of instant gratification. We want to succeed and we…
woman's head with a crack and with tree growing from the back of her head
Opening to a Whole New Way of Being
by Rabbi Wayne Dosick
Sometimes a pandemic—no matter how devastating—is just a pandemic. But sometimes— most times—it is…
Image of an open book floating in the sky with a tree growing out of the open book
Do You Believe in Miracles?
by Barry Vissell
Albert Einstein famously said, "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing…
a rainbow in the palm of an open hand
Finding Silver Linings and Rainbows
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Be open to discovering the gifts life is offering you -- expect silver linings and rainbows, be on…
2018 sunset railroad tracks
Horoscope: August 27 to September 2, 2018
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
The Joy and Secret of a Long Love
The Secret to the Love and Joy of our 50-Year Marriage
by Joyce Vissell
December 21, 1968 was our wedding day. It was the happiest day for me. After four years of loving…
Predicting The Future Of The Climate Crisis
Can You Predict The Future?
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
Can the future be predicted? Most certainly. Can anyone or anything predict the future with any…

MOST READ

How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
by Jackie Cassell, Professor of Primary Care Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The precarious economies of many traditional seaside towns have declined still further since the…
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
by Sonja Grace
As you experience being an earth angel, you will discover that the path of service is riddled with…
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
by Barbara Berger
One of the biggest things I've discovered working with clients everyday is how extremely difficult…
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
by Lucy Delap, University of Cambridge
The 1970s anti-sexist men’s movement had an infrastructure of magazines, conferences, men’s centres…
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
by Susan Campbell, Ph.D.
According to most of the singles I have met in my travels, the typical dating situation is fraught…
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
by Glen Park
Flamenco dancing is a delight to watch. A good flamenco dancer exudes an exuberant self-confidence…
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
Giving Up All Hope Could Be Beneficial For You
by Jude Bijou, M.A., M.F.T.
If you're waiting for a change and frustrated it's not happening, maybe it would be beneficial to…
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
An Astrologer introduces the Nine Dangers of Astrology
by Tracy Marks
Astrology is a powerful art, capable of enhancing our lives by enabling us to understand our own…

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeeliwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptroruesswsvthtrukurvi

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.