Weight Loss

Can IUDs like the Mirena cause weight gain? Advice from a Registered Dietitian and OB/GYN.

December 8, 2023

Written by Chandana (Chandy) Balasubramanian

Medically reviewed by Rita Faycurry, RD

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Contents
Contents

Key Points

  • Research doesn't support a connection between IUDs and weight gain.
  • Weight responses to IUDs may differ among individuals, with some experiencing minor fluctuations.
  • Concerns like initial bloating often lessen as the body adapts to the IUD.
  • Maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise is vital for weight management.
  • For personalized guidance on weight fluctuations with your IUD, try speaking with a Registered Dietitian.



IUDs (Intrauterine Devices) have become a popular choice for birth control due to their effectiveness and convenience. However, there's a common concern among many people considering IUDs – does using an IUD lead to weight gain? 

In this article, we'll explore the relationship between IUDs and weight gain, separate fact from fiction, and provide you with essential information to make an informed decision about your birth control.

IUDs 101

Before diving into the weight gain issue, let's briefly understand what IUDs are and how they work. IUDs are small, T-shaped devices inserted into the uterus by a healthcare provider. There are two main types:

Hormonal IUDs: IUDs like the Mirena, Liletta, Kyleena, and Skyla are hormonal IUDs. They release progestin, a synthetic hormone, into the uterus. This prevents pregnancy by thickening cervical mucus and inhibiting sperm movement.

Copper IUDs: These contain no hormones but have a copper wire wrapped around them. Copper IUDs create an inhospitable environment for sperm and prevent fertilization.

Is my IUD making me gain weight?

Many individuals worry that using hormonal IUDs, in particular, may lead to weight gain. Gia Eapen, MD, an OB/GYN explores this concern based on scientific evidence:

Let’s look at the research

Numerous studies have examined the relationship between hormonal contraceptives, including hormonal IUDs, and weight gain. The consensus? There's no conclusive evidence to support a direct link between hormonal IUD use and significant weight gain. While some users may experience minor weight changes, they are typically not solely due to the IUD.

Everyone’s bodies are different

Your weight can fluctuate naturally over time due to factors such as aging, lifestyle, and genetics. Everyone’s bodies are different, and it’s important to remember that not everyone will have the same response to an IUD. Some people may experience no weight changes at all, while others might notice minor fluctuations.

3. Water Retention:
One common misconception is that hormonal contraceptives, including IUDs, can cause water retention, leading to perceived weight gain. While some individuals may experience mild bloating or fluid retention initially, this typically subsides as their bodies adjust to the IUD.

How do I choose the right IUD?

If you're concerned about potential weight changes with IUDs, discussing your options with a healthcare provider is crucial. They can help you choose the contraceptive method that aligns best with your goals and lifestyle.

A Registered Dietitian can help you lose weight with an IUD in place

In summary, while some individuals may experience minor weight changes when using hormonal IUDs, there's no definitive evidence linking IUDs to significant weight gain. Weight fluctuations can occur naturally over time and are influenced by various factors. It's essential to focus on your overall health and well-being when considering contraception.

Remember, the choice of birth control is a personal one, and what works best for one person may not be the ideal option for another. Consult with your healthcare provider to discuss your contraceptive needs, potential side effects, and any concerns you may have. Making an informed decision about your birth control ensures you can confidently embrace a healthier, happier lifestyle.

If you have more questions or need personalized advice about contraception, don't hesitate to reach out to a healthcare professional. Your well-being is a priority, and your healthcare provider can help you find the right contraceptive solution for you.


The views expressed by authors and contributors of such content are not endorsed or approved by Fay and are intended for informational purposes only. The content is reviewed by Fay only to confirm educational value and audience interest. You are encouraged to discuss any questions that you may have about your health with a healthcare provider.


Sources

Fay Nutrition has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.

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Chandana (Chandy) Balasubramanian

Written by Chandana (Chandy) Balasubramanian

Chandana Balasubramanian is an experienced healthcare executive who writes on the intersection of healthcare and technology. She is the President of Global Insight Advisory Network and has a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.

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Rita Faycurry, RD

Medically Reviewed by Rita Faycurry, RD

Rita Faycurry, RD is a board-certified Registered Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in clinical nutrition for chronic conditions. Her approach to health is centered around the idea that the mind and body are intimately connected and that true healing requires an evidence-based and integrative approach that addresses the root cause of disease. In her books and articles, Rita offers practical tips and insights on how to care for your body, mind, and spirit to achieve optimal health and wellness.

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