In the United States the are only two types of IUDs available, Mirena and ParaGard, and both carry side effects. For many women, one question pops into their minds when it comes to any birth control, which is, “Am I going to gain weight on this?” While IUDs do help prevent pregnancy for long periods of time without having to remember to take a pill or slap on a patch, they do have severe side effects and are more invasive, and yes, weight gain is mentioned. If you are thinking of having an IUD placed, this article will help you decide between the two when it comes to weight gain and other side effects.
Mirena is an IUD made by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals that uses the hormone Levonorgestrel (a progesterone hormone) to help prevent pregnancy. It releases the hormone in small amounts in order to stop ovulation or (for most women) alters the cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg. Mirena has several side effects including weight gain. Because Mirena is a hormone based birth control, the hormone can affect a woman’s body by creating an imbalance with the hormones already present, which can lead to weight gain.
Weight gain is said to be seen in about 5% to 10% of women using Mirena. Many women saw minor to moderate weight gain, though a few have seen significant weight gain. While some weight gain is potentially unavoidable with Mirena, you can help keep your figure in check by making sure you’re exercising regularly, and eating a healthy and balanced diet. Other side effects include ovarian cysts, vaginal discharge, yeast infections, painful menstrual cycles, nausea and abdominal pain.
ParaGard is an IUD that is plastic with a copper wire wrapped around the plastic. The copper is released into the uterine cavity, which helps prevent the egg from attaching itself to the uterine wall, and in turn, helps prevent pregnancy. By using a copper IUD there is no hormone being released into your system, which means no weight gain, since there is no hormonal change. There are still side effects including painful menstrual cycles, yeast infections and pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility. The most important thing to consider with ParaGard, though, is that the active ingredient is copper. If you’re allergic to copper, you should not use this IUD.
IUDs are invasive and can bring with them some serious side effects, including weight gain. By eating a healthy diet and exercising on a regular basis, any weight gain should be minimal or none at all. Many IUDs are not recommended for women who have not had children, women with a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, or women with HIV/ AIDS. Talk to your doctor before choosing any birth control system.