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will birth control pills make me gain weight

Perhaps you are considering birth control pills or recently started taking them and have heard that they cause weight gain. Will birth control pills make you gain weight? Today we’ll look at this question along with some further information regarding birth control pills and pregnancy.

Weight gain is not the only consideration with birth control pills. Maybe you are also concerned about pregnancy. Avenue Women’s Center offers free medical grade pregnancy tests that are accurate just ten days after possible conception. Contact us today for an appointment at one of our five DuPage County locations and find out right away: Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, and Wood Dale, Illinois. Don’t delay!

Weight gain and birth control pills. Are they related?

The simple answer is—maybe, maybe not. Research on this subject has not produced a definitive answer. Each brand and type of birth control pill may have a different effect on your body. Controlled studies are difficult to do because different patients may all respond differently to the drugs.

When looking into birth control, you may note that the medication labels have warnings for both weight gain AND weight loss! However, the best experimental evidence suggests that these drugs do not cause weight gain in themselves because increases in dosage have not caused increases in weight. The most common explanation for weight gain following use of these drugs is fluid retention, which typically decreases with time.

What if you gained weight while taking birth control?

If you feel that your birth control medication is causing weight gain—and it has persisted for a significant time, while eliminating all other possibilities—speak to your physician about the possibility of using a different drug. There are many options available to be discussed with your medical professional.

Could your weight gain be caused by a possible pregnancy?

Weight gain can be caused by any number of factors, however, pregnancy cannot be completely ruled out without taking a test. Birth control pills are 91% effective with typical use. With perfect use, the effectiveness rate increases to 99%. Depending on your level of use and when the possibility of conception occurred, there is still a slight risk involved. If you are concerned you might be pregnant while on birth control, contact Avenue Women’s Center for a free pregnancy test today.

As with any birth control method, please speak with your doctor and significant other prior to beginning use. There is no contraception that is 100% effective. It is important to gather information and speak with a trusted medical professional before beginning a birth control regimen.

If you think you might be pregnant or recently took a positive test, Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. We have been assisting women facing unplanned pregnancies for over 37 years. Our expert staff and quality services are available in the Chicagoland area at no charge. Contact us today for a pregnancy test or pregnancy options consultation. We are here to provide information, support and nonjudgmental care. Same day appointments are often available. Call, chat, email, or text right away.


  • National Institute of Health (NIH). (2017, June). Contraception: Do hormonal contraceptives cause weight gain? Retrieved from:
  • WebMD. (2017, January). Will Birth Control Pills Make Me Gain Weight? Retrieved from:

Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.