If you’ve been avoiding the birth control pill due to fears about weight gain, we have some good news: a study released today by Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) has shown that the long-held belief that oral contraceptives cause weight gain is actually a myth.
Researchers in OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center studied a group of rhesus monkeys’who share a very similar repoductive system to that of humans’for nearly one year. Half of the group were considered a "normal" weight, while the other half were obese. At the end of the study, the monkeys with a normal weight remained the same and those who were obese actually lost weight, as well as body mass.
"This study suggests that worries about weight gain with pill use appear to be based more on fiction than on fact… Additionally, there may be a differential affect depending on your starting weight’heavier individuals who keep their diet stable may see a weight loss with pill use, " said Judy Cameron, Ph.D., senior author of the paper and a researcher at the primate center, in a news release. “We realize that research in nonhuman primates cannot entirely dismiss the connection between contraceptives and weight gain in humans, but it strongly suggests that women should not be as worried as they previously were.“
The study will be published in the February edition of Human Reproduction.