When it’s time to decide on a birth control method, it’s widespread to surprise: Will it make me gain weight? The mere notion {that a} contraceptive can carry on additional kilos is a deal breaker for a lot of customers.

Generally this worry can prolong to IUDs, also called intrauterine units. However there’s no proof these small T-shaped units, which a physician inserts into your uterus to prevent pregnancy long-term, will make you get heavier.

“My expertise is totally that weight acquire will not be a difficulty with [IUDs],” says Henry Dorn, MD, an OB/GYN in non-public apply in Excessive Level, NC. “The research mainly present that there’s lower than 5% [of IUD users] who present any weight acquire, and it’s usually somewhat water weight.”

Even with hormonal IUDs like Mirena, which emit progestin, so little of the hormone will get into your system that any results on weight are minor, he says.

The progestin in hormonal IUDs thickens the mucus in your cervix to dam sperm from reaching an egg. It additionally thins the liner of your uterus so it’s more durable for any sperm that does get via to implant. The gadget can work and stay within the uterus for 3 to six years. A copper IUD makes use of the metallic’s properties as a substitute of hormones to cease most sperm and forestall any that get by from implanting. Any such IUD can keep in your uterus (and hold working) for for much longer, as much as 10 years.


Weight Acquire Not Listed as IUD Aspect Impact

The IUD is a LARC, which stands for long-acting reversible contraception. Like birth control implants, the matchstick-sized rods a physician inserts into your higher arm, the IUD works very well. Fewer than one in 100 customers of both technique will get pregnant within the first yr.

Each IUD sorts work about equally nicely to stop being pregnant. They will trigger comparable, minor negative effects for some individuals, Dorn says, like headaches and modifications to your pores and skin, hair, or temper. You might need heavier intervals on the copper IUD.

Lists of attainable IUD side effects don’t embody weight acquire. Additionally, a 2013 research by the American School of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reported that amongst LARC customers, ladies who used implants and photographs had been extra prone to report weight acquire than those that used copper IUDs.

In response to the ACOG, LARC strategies work 20 instances higher than birth control pills; the patch, which releases hormones via the skin; or the vaginal ring, which you’ll want to substitute each month.

“There is no such thing as a good birth control,” Dorn notes, “however [IUDs] are the perfect we’ve obtained.”

It additionally is likely to be the best. “It takes 30 seconds to place in, and 5 seconds to take out,” he says.

Different Issues Can Convey Weight Acquire

Even when individuals report weight acquire, Dorn says it’s essential to consider different elements that may play a job. Generally it’s merely your stage of life. For instance, for those who begin utilizing an IUD earlier than your physique absolutely matures, you may suppose regular physique modifications outcome from the IUD.

“Loads of it’s timing. Loads of it’s, it coincides with the normal weight acquire of maturity,” Dorn says.

You possibly can cease the birth control as simply as you begin it, too. If you happen to resolve you wish to get pregnant, or in any other case don’t wish to use the strategy anymore, you solely must go to your physician or different medical skilled to have it eliminated.

IUDs Can Assist With Different Situations

Dorn additionally prescribes the IUD as therapy for girls who’ve heavy periods. He cites the variety of sanitary pads used as a measure. When you have an IUD, you might need to make use of 2 to three pads much less per day throughout your interval, he says.


If you’d like an IUD, a board-certified OB/GYN, licensed nurse midwife, or household physician is your best option. “Skilled practitioners do higher inserting them than much less skilled,” Dorn says. For instance, if somebody has a “tilted” uterus, which slants backward as a substitute of ahead, a extremely expert physician must insert the IUD.

However such a situation is uncommon, so don’t let discovering a well being skilled cease you. Try medical clinics in your space. And whereas IUDs must be lined by insurance or Medicaid, Dorn says, value shouldn’t be a barrier both. Clinics typically supply a sliding cost scale. “Nearly no person has to pay full worth,” he says, which is about $750.

If you happen to’re finished having kids, Dorn says the perfect sort of contraception is to have the male associate get a vasectomy. “A vasectomy has a zero weight acquire for girls,” he says.



Nemours Teenagers Well being: “The IUD.”

Henry Dorn, MD, OB/GYN, Excessive Level, NC.

The American School of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Lengthy-Appearing Reversible Contraception (LARC): Intrauterine Gadget (IUD) and Implant.”

Affected person Choice and Adherence: “Understanding advantages and addressing misperceptions and limitations to intrauterine gadget entry amongst populations in america.”

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology: “Validity of Perceived Weight Acquire in Girls utilizing Lengthy-acting Reversible Contraception and Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate.”

Bedsider.org: “Paragard vs. Mirena.”

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