Post Pill and Unexplained Weight Gain

Question

I went off the birth control pill in April, five months ago. I had been on the pill since I was 15 years old. I am a healthy 22-year-old who stays active on a daily basis. I work out 4-6 times a week for 2 to 2.5 hours a day which include weight lifting and 40 minutes of cardio.
I have had some unexplainable weight gain of 15 pounds and I can’t lose any of it. Most of it is in my hips and thighs. I’ve been eating healthier than I ever have which includes high protein, good carbs, vegetables, and fruit but I have been having aches and pain in my joints, mainly in my knees and unexplainable severe allergies that I’ve never had before, where my eyes will water continuously throughout the day. I’ve also noticed that I’ve been more tired than usual. I’ve been looking into hormonal imbalance as a possible reason for this, but don’t know if that could happen after going off of birth control pill. The weight gain has been the most frustrating because keeping in lean and good shape is part of my lifestyle but now eating healthy 90% of the time hardly losing any fat is really frustrating for me at this age, especially when I didn’t have this problem less than a year ago.

Please let me know if you have any type of explanation.

Felichia

Answer

Dear Felichia,

I used the contraceptive birth control pill for a few years in the early 1970’s but discontinued because of the known side effects at that time and started using Natural Family Planning because it was and is as effective as the pill without any medical side effects. I have always suggested that women using the pill read the insert in the packet to inform themselves of all of the possible side effects. Most women do not at the time of their exams have any discussion with their doctors about the side effects. It is well documented that the pill can increase a woman’s chances for heart attacks, strokes and breast cancer. Any medication can not only have an effect on the area being treated but on all of the body systems. You have taken the pill for a long time and it’s effect on each woman can be very different. It may take time for your body to eliminate the artificial hormones and start to produce the female hormones again are part of a healthy body. I compliment you on your healthy lifestyle and feel you might be interested in learning more about Natural Family Planning since it mirrors your lifestyle. Women can easily learn to track their menstrual cycles and will quickly learn what is normal for them. You can check our website for an instructor in California. wiSince I am unable to say that all your symptoms are connected to your past use of the pill, I would also recommend that you see your physician for a complete examination to get to the root of your medical concerns.

Keep up the healthy life style!

Winnie Neill

Answered By:

Winnie Neill, CFCP
Winnie Neill, a Professional Member of CANFP, is a certified FertilityCare Practitioner, and taught NFP 23 years in the Sacramento region. She served on the Sacramento Diocese NFP Advisory Board, the American Academy of NFP Board and the CANFP Eecutive Board. She and her husband Bob have been married 63 years

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