Study authors finds that injections of birth control lead to significant weight gain and changes in body mass

According to recent research, women who used depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, also known as the birth control shot, gained an average of 11 pounds over three years and gained 3.4 percent more body fat than those who did not use the shot.

A study conducted at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) found that women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commonly known as the birth control shot, gained on average 11 pounds and increased their body fat by 3.4 percent over three years. Conversely, women who switched to contraception that didn’t involve hormones began losing rapidly the weight and body fat they had gained over the past two years, whereas those who switched to oral contraception gained an average of four extra pounds during the same time period. In this study, which appears in the March 4 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the rate of weight gain slowed over time depending on the duration of DMPA use. The study is among the largest of its kind available. Three times every year, DMPA is administered as an injection to patients. Approximately 400,000 American teens use DMPA, which is used by about two million American women. Contraception is very popular since it is relatively inexpensive, non-invasive, safe, and does not require daily administration. Other advantages include being low in failure rate and not needing to be taken every day. Dr. Abbey Berenson, assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women’s Health at UTMB, said the new data should help women and their doctors choose the most appropriate birth control method. “DMPA’s links to increased abdominal fat are concerning, as abdominal fat is a known component of metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type II diabetes”, noted

703 women in two age groups, 16-24 and 25-33 years old, were followed for three years using either hormonal (DMPA, oral mg or desogestrel) or nonhormonal (a pelvic ring, condom or abstinence) contraception. When DMPA users discontinued this method and switched to another birth control method, their health was followed for a further two As part of the study, researchers compared changes in body weight and composition as well as the influence of age, race, calorie intake, and exercise, among other variables. In a comparison of all three groups of women, DMPA users became twice as likely to be obese over the subsequent three years compared with women utilizing nonhormonal and oral methods of birth control. It’s too early to tell if this is a serious problem There is still a need for more research into whether DMPA use contributes to obesity-related conditions and puts the health of patients at risk,” noted It was not evident that women who used oral contraception gained more weight than those who used nonhormonal forms The study found, however, that their body fat (body fat) was slightly higher but their lean body mass (muscle) was lower. In fact, researchers found that women who exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet with a high protein content were less likely to suffer from this health condition. As a result of the study, physicians will be able to offer accurate advice to women about the body changes caused by widely used methods of contraception, as well as how to reverse weight gain, DMPA can cause weight gain and fat mass increase through unknown mechanisms, and no association was found between DMPA use and caloric intake, fat consumption, or amount of exercise on body mass changes, according to Berenson. A study supported by the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development was conducted. A research scientist at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women’s Health, Mahburbur Rahman, holds a MBBS, PhD, MPH and has UTMB researchers are assessing follow-up studies to determine which subset of women is mostly likely to gain weight on DMPA, given its perceived effects on calorie intake and energy expenditure.