Does Mirena cause weight gain? The answer is yes and no. Yes for less than 5% of women who use Mirena and no for a large percentage of them. Researches show that Mirena does not directly cause weight gain to users. The culprit may be the side effects.
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Mirena is a small T-shaped intrauterine device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy or heavy menstrual bleeding. It is a contraceptive that can be used up to 5 years or earlier depending on the user. It releases Progestin that thins the uterine lining and thickens the mucus; thus preventing the sperm from fertilizing the eggs.
Mirena, just like any other intrauterine devices, has accompanying side effects to women who opt to use it. Some of these are changes in menstrual bleeding, missed periods, acne, depression, and headaches, such as migraines.
Though weight gain is not included in the possible side effects of Mirena, a lot of people still attribute their weight gain to the uses of Mirena. This is why researchers released hypothetical explanations as to the reasons for weight gain after several weeks or months of Mirena insertion.
Increase in appetite– There may be no definitive explanation as to the reason for the appetite increase. It may be the release of the hormone which causes hormonal changes. That being said, substantial increase in appetite and not being able to control this urge will certainly cause weight gain.
Bloating– This is one of the common side effects of Mirena. This may not cause fat but it is related to water or gas retention making the person heavier.
Cognitive function– One of Mirena’s side effects is the altering of thought patterns. It may be due to hormonal changes that cause one to gain weight.
Fat gain– A review by Lopez et al (2016) showed that intrauterine contraception helped build fats in the body and and cause muscle loss. Though this study is still uncertain, it may be because of the presence of the hormone that causes fat metabolism and increase in fat storage.
Food cravings– Right after the insertion of Mirena, some women claim that cravings for carbohydrates or fatty foods develop. In so doing, they get to eat a lot of these and gain some weight.
Low energy– After the insertion of Mirena, some women experience fatigue or low energy. This way, they tend to be less active than before the insertion. Some also experience depression that cause them to stay indoors or exercise less. When physical activity decreases, weight gain usually follows.
Slower metabolism– It is possible that the hormones released by Mirena can slow the resting metabolic rate. Sometimes weight gain can be associated with slow metabolism. People experiencing this case tend to accumulate fats faster than those who have faster metabolism.
Randomized clinical trials were conducted in order to determine the effect of Mirena on body weight. The results showed that Mirena was unlikely to cause weight gain on the body. Though only a very small percentage may experience modest weight gain. Most doctors consider Mirena as “weight neutral”.
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