Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team

Dr. Sophia discusses,  “The Facts On Birth Control And Weight Gain, The Truth about Birth control, and Weight Gain: Does birth control make you gain weight? TLDR: no”

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Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health headshot

Dr Sophia Yen discusses whether the birth control pill, patch, and ring makes you gain weight: The birth control pills, the birth control ring, and the birth control patch, do not make you gain weight.

One research study put 50 women on the birth control pill and 50 women not on the birth control pill. The 50 women who were NOT on the birth control pill, on average, weighed 1 pound more. Because women NOT on the pill bloated up and bloated down with their natural period, whereas the women ON the birth control pill experienced none of that and their life and hormones was smooth, smooth, smooth. They didn’t bloat up, they didn’t bloat down, and weighed (on average) 1 pound less.

Not 1 pound a week or 1 pound a month. Just 1 pound – because they didn’t bloat up and bloat down.

However, there is a hormone in combined oral birth control pills, patch, and ring called progesterone, which I think of as the “male hormone” and sometimes that affects different women differently.

Some women may respond to that hormone with the munchies and it’s all how you respond to the munchies.

If you’re a person who responds to the munchies with French fries and chips, then you’re going to gain some weight. But, if you’re a person who responds to the munchies with diet soda and sugar-free gum, then you’ll be fine.

But, most women on the birth control pill, patch or ring do NOT gain weight. So don’t worry about it.

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The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.