When it comes to contraception, everyone and every body is different and reacts differently, so it is hard knowing which one works well for you.
Some forms of contraception can lead to weight gain, such as the pill, and women either shy away from it because of this or put up with it and are left with little options.
When it comes to an intrauterine device (commonly known as an IUD), this form of contraception can be less harsh on the body.
So, can an IUD affect your weight? We discuss below.
Does an IUD lead to weight gain?
An IUD is a T shaped device that is placed into the uterus and prevents pregnancy by releasing either the hormone levonorgestrel or copper.
First of all, there are 2 types of IUD’s, one is a copper IUD (ParaGard) and the other, a hormonal IUD (known as Mirena).
We’ve looked into both and this is what you need to know about the differences between the two.
The copper in ParaGard interferes with sperm movement, egg fertilisation, and prevents implantation (falling pregnant).
Because of the lack of hormones, unlike the contraceptive pill or the Mirena, the copper IUD’s most common side effects diminish after 2-3 months.
- Heavy bleeding
- Painful menstrual cramps
- Longer periods
- Spotting in between periods
Typically, there is no weight gain associated with the copper IUD, but some women have been known to have gained weight, yet this is rare.
The Mirena contains the hormone levonorgestrel and releases this into the uterus. This IUD works as contraception in 3 ways:
- Inhibits sperm from reaching the egg.
- The hormones thicken the mucus of the cervix so that sperm cannot get into the uterus.
- Thins the uterus lining.
Weight gain with the hormonal IUD varies between women and everyone can react differently to induced hormones.
- Hormonal side effects, such as bloating, skin changes, mood and weight gain
- Irregular bleeding and spotting in the first few months
- Periods may stop altogether
- Expulsion, the Mirena may come out
Many women who have had a Mirena inserted typically say they have gained 4-5kg.
This may be because of the hormones and how hormones can effect a woman’s weight, however this is not a primary side effect due to the small amount of hormones in the IUD.
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