Study Suggests That Genetics Could Be Why Some Women Gain …

Posted: May 24, 2020 at 7:49 pm

A new study has suggested that genetics could be the reason as to why some women gain weight while they're on birth control.

Many women take birth controlregularlyin order to regulate their menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancy. But like with any medication, it comes with its fair share of side effects. Some of them can be a mere nuisance whereas others can be serious or even life-threatening.

One side effect that leans towards the former is weight gain. While it can happen, it doesn't happen to every woman who goes on birth control. That can be frustrating if this side effect has happened to you. But now,a new study has revealed that genetics could determine why some women gain weight while using birth control.

The study in question was carried out by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. They recruited 276 women to see if they gained weight while having an etonogestrel contraceptive implant inserted in their arm. Since it contains etonogestrel, it inhibits ovulation. Moreover, it's arguably the most effective method of birth control.

Related: The Strangest Myths About Birth Control Debunked

The study found that 73.9 percent of participants gained weight with theetonogestrel contraceptive implant. When they looked at just how much weight they gained, the median was 3.2 kilograms, which is just over seven pounds. That median was determined over a time span of 27 months.

After that, researchers looked into whether or not genetics played a role in why some participants gained weight, and others didn't. That study found genetic variants in estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) were associated with weight gain. Women with two copies of ESR1 were found to have gained an average of 14.1 kilograms (over 31 pounds) while using the aforementionedcontraceptive implant.

There are currently no links found between ESR1 and obesity. However, past research had found links between ESR1 and how it affects other medications. Also, it's not yet known if ESR1 is only linked to weight gain to other forms of birth control outside the contraceptive implant used in the study. More studies will need to be conducted in order to determine this. That being said, this is a great start looking into this particular matter.

"For years, women have said that birth control causes them to gain weight but many doctors failed to take them seriously.Now we have looked at the genetics and found that the way genes interact with some hormones in birth control could help explain why some women gain more weight than others," explained Aaron Lazorwitz, Md., the study's lead author.

Next: Hailey Bieber Admits That Starting Birth Control Lead To Acne Breakouts


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Elizabeth Sarah Larkin is a full-time freelancer who specializes in writing, social media, and public relations. She has published articles for many online publications, including Babygaga and She graduated from Conestoga College with a Bachelor of Public Relations (Honours), where she learned and honed her skills. Her interests include music, video games and working out. You can follow her on Twitter (@ElizabethSL95) or Instagram (@elizabethsarahl); or you can contact her at

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Study Suggests That Genetics Could Be Why Some Women Gain ...

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