Have you ever wondered why you couldn’t lose weight the way you’d like to? You’ve tried diet pills, shakes and other methods of dieting, but to no avail! The problem could be the birth control method that you are using. There are several birth control options to choose from and regardless of your eating habits, exercise or other dieting methods, many of these birth controls retain the weight because of the primary synthetic hormone that is released into to your system. There are 2 types of hormones that most birth controls contain and release into your body, Estrogen and Progestin.
Estrogen, in its natural form, is what helps breast development, menstruation and prepares your body for pregnancy. Progestin is what causes changes in the uterus. When Progestin and Estrogen are combined they prevent the thickening of the walls/lining of the uterus and prevent pregnancy. If the uterine lining is thin, it will prevent ovulation (the release of the egg).Progestin makes weight loss difficult because it increases your appetite, as if you were pregnant. Implanon (Implant), and Depo-Provera (Shot) releases Progestin only. Pills, the Patch, Nuva-Ring and the IUD (Intra Uterine Device) Mirena all release both Estrogen and Progestin together. Because Mirena (IUD) releases a significant amount of hormones the side effects tend to be more severe and weight loss is almost nonexistent. It treats your body as if you really are pregnant.
So what choices does this leave you with? Not very many! If you want something that’s long term, there is the ParaGard IUD, it does not contain any hormones and it lasts for up to 10 years. Since it doesn’t contain any hormones you won’t have to deal with side effects like acne, weight gain, migraines, memory loss, depression, and other side effects that are linked to the Mirena IUD. ParaGard is a very simple procedure and can be inserted and removed by your health care professional. Some other non hormonal options are more short term and tend to be a lot messier than the birth controls listed above. There is the ‘Today Sponge’ which comes in a pack of 3. It’s a soft, round plastic foam that contains spermicide. It covers the cervix and blocks sperm from entering your uterus. You insert it into the vagina up to 24 hours before intercourse and it can’t be left in any longer than 30 hours. Each one can only be used once, look at more info.
The Diaphragm is a thin flexible rubber. It works the same way as the Today Sponge, except you add the Spermicide manually. Em-Cap (Cervical Cap) is a hat shaped silicone cup that also covers the cervix, and also to be used with spermicide. You can insert right before intercourse, but you have to keep it in 6 hours after, but no more than 48 hours. Both Em-Cap and the Diaphragm are reusable, after each use, you just wash them with mild soap and warm water then let it air dry. These methods are less effective in preventing pregnancy if not used properly. It’s a good idea to use a barrier method, such as a male or female condom when using a diaphragm, cervical cap or the sponge. Consult your health care professional for complete instructions on the use of these birth control methods.