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IUD and weight gain

When it comes to the birth control method, it is quite common to wonder about its side effects. The most common side effects of birth control are acne, intermenstrual spotting, breast tenderness, mood changes, headaches, etc. IUD coil and weight gain is a common concern among women selecting this birth control method. However, there is no evidence that these small T-shaped devices that prevent pregnancy make you gain weight.

 

A] What is an Intrauterine Device (IUD)?

An IUD, also known as an intrauterine device, is a T-shaped plastic device implanted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are an effective form of birth control available with less than 1% pregnancy chances. It also limits the risk of pregnancy, thereby preventing the complications of surgical abortion.

Reproductive healthcare is a vital part of a woman’s general health. After insertion and depending on the type of IUDs used, an IUD can last from 3 to twelve years. Women of all ages can use an IUD, and it is reversible.

B] Coil Fitting Services in the UK

When you make the decision to get an IUD, start with scheduling a private gynaecologist appointment. At the appointment the doctor will ensure that an IUD is the right solution for you. Now let’s take a look at how an IUD insertion works.

Insertion of the IUD takes less than five minutes, wherein the coil is inserted through the vagina into the cervix. You may feel a bit of cramping or pain during insertion, which would subside in a few minutes.

In rare cases, a doctor would administer a local numbing injection around the cervix to make the pain bearable. In case of intense pain or cramping post-insertion, the doctor will recommend some medication. You can also experience some cramping and backache post-insertion, which may last for a couple of days.

C] What Are The Side-effects of IUD?

Copper and hormonal IUDs do much more than prevent pregnancy. Mirena is an hormonal IUD that is also commonly used to treat heavy periods and endometriosis-related pain.

Though IUDs are 99% effective, there are some common side effects to keep in mind.

  • You may experience cramping or back pain after placement.
  • You could experience irregular bleeding and spotting during your menstrual cycle.
  • The IUD can slip out or moveand would require to be taken out by a professional.

1. Hormonal IUD Side effects

The possible side effects of Mirena vary from patient to patient. Additionally, hormone-based side effects include headaches, acne, breast tenderness, mood swings, nausea and fatigue.

Hormonal IUDs like Mirena use the progestin hormone instead of estrogen. Due to this, some patients may experience weight gain due to lower estrogen levels.

The relation between the Mirena coil and weight gain can be related to various other health issues like stress or other illnesses. However, the benefits of utilising these highly effective IUDs far outweigh the risk of potential side effects. But, it is best to consult with a specialist to determine if an IUD is an option for you.

2. Copper IUD Side effects

A frequently asked question is, does copper IUD cause weight gain? The answer is no. Copper IUD doesn’t cause weight gain.

Since copper IUDs has no hormones, the side effects are less severe than hormonal IUDs or other forms of hormonal birth controls. The side effects of copper IUD may include anaemia, backache or cramping. It can also affect your periods, causing severe menstrual pain, heavy periods, bleeding between periods or vaginal discharge.

An IUD can be expelled from the body in rare cases. This is more likely to take place if:

  • You have never been pregnantor have heavy periods or severe menstrual pain.
  • You’re under the age of 20 or if you use an IUD immediately after giving birth to a child.
  • The IUD is inserted following a second-trimester abortion. This has a greater risk of expulsion compared to a first-trimester abortion.

There is a slight probability of perforating the wall of the uterus during placement. If this occurs, surgery may be required to remove the IUD. Uterine perforation may cause scarring, infection or damage to other organs.

D] IUDs and Weight Gain

Copper IUD and weight gain are not commonly associated. As stated above, non-hormonal IUDs do not cause weight gain. On the other hand, the association of Mirena IUD and weight gain is that of 5%. Since it is a hormonal IUD, weight gain is possible.

An IUD weight gain is an increase in water retention and not an increase in body fat. Three months post-insertion, the weight will start decreasing. Any weight gain post three months may be due to the lifestyle and eating habits of an individual.

How to fight Mirena weight gain?

  • Consider making lifestyle changes to avoid gaining weight after getting an IUD.
  • Eating healthily and exercising daily can help reduce the risk of weight gain post-insertion.
  • Consult with a specialist if the weight gain continues. He’ll advise you on how to control weight gain.
  • Another method to fight Mirena weight gain is to use a copper IUD. They are a great alternative as copper IUD is not linked to weight gain.

#Other Birth Control Methods

1. Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are also known as oral contraceptives. They are prescribed medications taken orally to prevent pregnancy and are an effective method of birth control. Combination pills and progestin-only pills (the mini-pill) are the two types of oral birth control pills commonly prescribed.

i. Combination-pills: These contain synthetic (man-made) forms of hormones estrogen and progestin and work in two ways:

  • Firstly, it helps prevent ovulation i.e. it ensures the ovaries do not release eggs each month.
  • Secondly, the pills help thicken the cervical mucus so that the sperm can’t enter the uterus and fertilise the egg.

ii. Progestin-only pills also work by thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the endometrium. The endometrium is the lining of the uterus where the egg implants after fertilisation. By thinning the endometrium, it gets harder for the egg to implant, which prevents pregnancy. Progestin-only pills can also prevent ovulation.

2. Vaginal Rings (NuvaRing)

A vaginal ring (NuvaRing) is a hormonal contraceptive (birth control) device for women. It contains the hormones estrogen & progestin and is a flexible, soft, latex-free plastic ring. It is inserted into the vagina and continuously releases the hormones for over three weeks to prevent pregnancy. Note, it does not protect you or your partner from STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). For safe usage, talk to a healthcare provider. When used correctly, the ring is 99% effective.

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Neha Goel

Neha Goel, a Psychology alumna and MBA graduate from CASS Business School, London, brings together her expertise as a Reiki Practitioner and Practice Manager. She integrates psychology and business strategies to foster holistic well-being and personal development.