Injectable Birth Control's Weight-Gain Risk

Over two million American women opt for injectable birth control, administered by their doctors four times each year. If they are concerned about weight gain, however, they may want to talk to those doctors about a different option.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women between 16 and 33 years old using injectable birth control, also known as DMPA or the brand name Depo-Provera, gained an average of 11 pounds and increased their body fat by over 3% over the course of three years. Compared to women taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills) and those using non-hormonal methods (such as tubal ligation and condoms), those on DMPA were more than twice as likely to become obese.

Additionally, research showed that women using injectable birth control can slowly start losing weight if they switch to a non-hormonal method. Switching to oral contraceptives after injections, however, led to additional weight gain.