Birth control is a method used to prevent pregnancy. Methods for women include hormonal birth control (pills, shots, the patch), a vaginal ring, the implant and intrauterine devices, or IUDs. Not only can birth control protect you from getting pregnant, but many women use birth control to minimize the pain and discomfort associated with menstruation, fibroid tumors and ovarian cysts. Although many birth control methods are effective, some women complain about the weight gain they experience from using certain methods. Luckily, a few things can help control this weight gain.
Speak with your gynecologist about any concerns you may have about weight gain. Your doctor can evaluate your current health status and inform you of the best ways to control weight gain while using birth control. As part of the evaluation process, your doctor may take a sample of your blood and urine and send it to the lab for testing.
Choose birth control with a lower estrogen level such as Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Triphasil, Yasmin, Levlite, LoEstrin and Alesse. Research shows that high doses of estrogen can result in fluid retention and weight gain.
Follow a well-balanced diet. Be sure to eat three healthy meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and reduce your sodium intake. Avoid eating foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates--such as candy, french fries, soda, ice cream and potato chips--and choose foods that are less fattening.
Exercise four to five times a week. You need some form of physical activity to stay healthy and fit. Some effective exercising methods include walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics, biking, tennis and kickboxing.
Drink plenty of water every day. You should drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. Water helps to flush out your system and it also reduces weight gain.
Take fluid pills to reduce water retention in your body. Your doctor can prescribe fluid pills or she may recommend over-the-counter pills.
Limit or reduce your calorie intake. Speak with your doctor before making any changes to your current diet.
Certain birth control methods may increase your appetite and body fat.