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Nexplanon is a highly effective contraceptive implant that is placed under the skin of the upper arm. It works by releasing a progestin hormone that prevents ovulation and thickens cervical mucus, making it harder for sperm to reach the egg. One of the most commonly reported side effects of Nexplanon is weight gain. Many women are concerned about how much weight they may gain while using this form of contraception. In this blog post, we will explore the topic of weight gain on Nexplanon, including why it happens, how much weight women typically gain, and whether or not there are ways to prevent or manage this side effect.
The science behind weight gain on Nexplanon
To understand why weight gain can occur while using Nexplanon, it’s important to first understand how the hormone progestin works. Progestin is a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone, which is produced naturally by the ovaries during the menstrual cycle. Progesterone is known to increase appetite and fluid retention, which can lead to weight gain in some women. Progestin works in a similar way, but it is released into the bloodstream continuously over a period of three years, rather than in a cyclical pattern like progesterone.
Progestin can also affect insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, which can contribute to weight gain. Some studies have suggested that progestin may increase levels of a hormone called cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands and is known to promote fat storage in the abdominal area. However, the exact mechanisms by which progestin causes weight gain are not fully understood, and more research is needed to determine the precise relationship between progestin and weight.
How much weight do people typically gain on Nexplanon?
The amount of weight that women gain while using Nexplanon can vary widely. Some women may not experience any weight gain at all, while others may gain several pounds. A review of several studies found that the average weight gain among women using Nexplanon was around 3-4 pounds over the course of a year. However, some women gained much more than this, with some studies reporting weight gains of up to 20 pounds or more.
It’s worth noting that weight gain on Nexplanon is not necessarily permanent. Some women may find that they lose weight once the implant is removed, particularly if they make changes to their diet and exercise habits. However, for others, the weight gain may be more stubborn and difficult to lose.
How to manage weight gain on Nexplanon?
If you are concerned about weight gain while using Nexplanon, there are several strategies that may help you manage this side effect. These include:
Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help you burn off excess calories and maintain a healthy weight. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, per week.
Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help you maintain a healthy weight and provide your body with the nutrients it needs.
Limit alcohol and sugar: Both alcohol and sugar can contribute to weight gain, so it’s a good idea to limit your intake of these substances. Try to stick to one drink per day or less, and avoid sugary drinks and snacks.
Talk to your healthcare provider: If you are experiencing significant weight gain or other side effects while using Nexplanon, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. They may be able to recommend alternative forms of contraception or provide guidance on how to manage the side effects.
In conclusion, weight gain is a common side effect of Nexplanon, but the amount of weight that women gain can vary widely. The hormonal changes caused by progestin can increase appetite and fluid retention, and may also affect insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. While the average weight gain among women using Nexplanon is around 3-4 pounds over the course of a year, some women may gain more. However, there are strategies that can help manage this side effect, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, limiting alcohol and sugar, and talking to a healthcare provider if necessary.
It’s important to remember that weight gain is just one potential side effect of Nexplanon, and many women are able to use this form of contraception without experiencing significant weight changes. However, if you are concerned about weight gain or experiencing other side effects, it’s always a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on managing side effects or recommend alternative forms of contraception if necessary. Overall, Nexplanon is a highly effective and convenient contraceptive option for many women, and weight gain should not be a deterrent for those considering this form of birth control.