Do Birth Control Pills Make You Fat?

Do birth control pills make women fat? We have some friends who claim that their use of this oral contraceptive made them fat but a new research study by a team from the Oregon National Primate Research Study Center suggests that their is no link between The Pill and weight gain.

However, we won’t blame you if you are skeptical of this particular research because the researchers actually focused on the effect of birth control pills on rhesus macaque monkeys rather than on human beings. Couldn’t they have designed a research method that actually had pill-taking women as subjects?

Anyhoo, here’s a New York Daily News report on this Oregon research: “Over an eight-month period, the animals received doses of oral contraceptives, adjusted to their weight so that it mimicked dosage in humans. Tracking the animals’ weight, food intake, activity levels, body fat and lean muscle mass, the normal weight group remained weight stable whereas the obese group actually lost a significant amount of weight (8.5%) and percentage of body fat (12%) due to an increase in basal metabolic rate.”

Senior author Dr. Judy Cameron adds, “This study suggests that worries about weight gain with pill use appear to be based more on fiction than on fact.”

Are you convinced that The Pill doesn’t make you fat? Or do you agree with this NYDN commenter who went: “Lies! Lies! Lies! The PIll and ANY hormone treatment CAN make you gain weight as well as make it hard to lose weight. It all depends on the individual’s metabolism but hormone treatment of any kind WILL have a huge effect on one’s weight. This includes birth control pills and hormone treatment given to women who’ve had breast cancer, for example (tamoxifen/arimidex.)”

For female health and fertility related topics, check out our post on the side effects of Natazia birth control pills, the use of Prozac as an anti-PMS drug, and whether stem cells can treat menopause.