Contraceptive methods include IUDs that contain hormones to prevent pregnancy. While IUDs are effective and free from hassles as a method to prevent pregnancy, there are certain possible undesirable outcomes. For instance, women may appear to have put on weight after this method. Sub sections below answer the question – can Kyleena cause weight gain? Information also includes the mechanism of action and possible undesirable outcomes from the contraceptive.

Overview of Progestin hormone in plastic IUDs

Most oral and IUD contraceptives contain Levonorgestrel, a synthetic that is similar to progestin hormone in appropriate quantities. The IUDs release the hormones and through the mechanism of action of the hormone, pregnancy is prevented. Various other options are also available that involve the use of subdermal implants. Levonorgestrel is regarded as the most commonly and frequently used in emergency contraceptives, since approval around four decades ago.

Mechanism of action  

The mechanism of action is technically multimodal in nature, and involves impact on ovulation and cervical mucus. For instance, Levonorgestrel is known to have a suppressive effect on gonadotropins, and this in turn is known to prevent ovulation. By binding to progesterone and androgen receptors, the hormone impacts the release of hormones, and this in turn prevents ovulation. The tearing open of follicles and release of egg from the ovaries are part of the ovulation process, and the hormone prevents these processes, thereby stopping ovulation.

As outlined above, the mechanism of action also affects the cervical mucus, by increasing the thickness. This has an impact on the movement of sperm, which could affect its survival rate. The movement of sperm into the uterus is a part of the process for fertilization. When this movement is affected, implantation fails. In addition to this, the hormone also has certain positive outcomes when used as part of hormone therapy.

What is an IUD?

A small, T-shaped device, an IUD is inserted through the vagina, in the uterus.  Most IUDs have a hormonal mechanism of action, by releasing progestins, and this prevents pregnancies. It is important to note that copper IUDs are different from plastic IUDs. The former works by the impact on sperm, as copper is toxic to sperm; it therefore does not belong to the category of hormonal IUDs.  IUDs are regarded as the most reliable methods of contraception, and the possibility of pregnancy in lesser than 1%. Additionally, IUDs are extremely convenient and easy to use, and can be left in place for almost ten years after insertion by a specialist. 

Possible effects of IUDs – Can Kyleena cause weight gain?

With the basic information out of the way it is time to answer the question. There is a possibility of women gaining weight after insertion of hormonal IUDs. However, this is distinct from usual weight gain for simple reasons. This weight gain is not due to accumulation of body fat, but mainly because of water retention. Bloating is different from weight gain due to body fat. The hormone causes the body to retain more water, and this causes increase in weight. This is essentially similar to the effects experienced by women during menstruation.

Importantly, weight gained this way is not permanent in nature and will resolve after 12 weeks, when the body begins to adjust to the hormone and its effects. It is important to note that all women may not experience the same set of side effects of hormonal contraceptives, and this includes weight gain. Some women may end up with more weight gain than others. Therefore, the outcomes may be contrastingly different for women. Studies have also put forth the suggestion that IUDs are not necessarily the only reason for weight gain, and could be a natural outcome of the body’s changes when women are in a specific age group. For instance, natural weight gain is linked to various lifestyle changes and possible lack of physical activity, part from increased stress levels.

Possible side effects of hormonal IUDs – Kyleena

Similar to medications, hormones in drugs and IUDs are likely to cause certain undesirable effects. These effects may differ from person to person and depend on various factors. Commonly reported effects of hormonal IUDs include possible impact on periods that could be either irregular or absent. This effect is typically experienced after the first year. Another possible outcome of IUDs is possible spotting, while copper IUDs, may end up causing heavier than usual periods.

Weight gain and Copper IUD

While plastic IUDs have a reputation of causing weight gain, copper IUDs have relatively lesser reported cases of weight gain.  While studies are inconclusive, recorded instances point to the fact that all IUDs have an impact on water retention, resulting in possible weight gain. The minor differences may be attributed to the individual’s response and the effect on different individuals rather than the effect of the type of IUD.

How to adopt birth control methods and reduce impact on weight gain

Certain methods can help to minimize the possibility of weight gain from IUDs. For instance, women can try switching from one IUD type to another IUD type, if there is any noticeable change in weight. This could help reduce weight gain to a certain extent. Additionally, it would help to make suitable changes in lifestyle, such as dietary intake and physical activity. This is important, as in most cases, the use of IUDs is often at an age, when normal weight gain occurs due to lifestyle impact. A suitable change in lifestyle and diet can help reduce the possibility of weight gain.

The final option is to choose a different birth control method, instead of IUDs to avoid weight gain. However, it is important to note that birth control pills that contain hormones are also likely to cause an increase in weight gain. It is therefore necessary to monitor the impact and take suitable remedial options.

Weight gain is temporary in nature

As mentioned earlier, weight gain is only temporary in nature and will resolve in three months. However, due to lifestyle changes that usually coincide with the same period, weight gain may extend. It is therefore necessary for women who are health conscious or heavily concerned about this period of weight gain, to try different options to control this weight gain.

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