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  • Birth Control and Weight Management

    Is it true that birth control will not aid your cause in losing those 5-10 lbs? I'm contemplating going on bc to help alleviate the monthly symptoms but wanted to hear from those that have had any experience with this.

    True?

  • #2
    Umm... I know many on these boards do not like BC because it jacks with your hormones. I am on it myself and having a devil of a time getting my abdominal fat down. However, because of other factors involved, I can't entirely be sure it's just the BC. YMMV.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
    My Latest Journal

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    • #3
      I've heard birth control can keep a bit of extra weight on you. On the other hand, some gals really do seem to need the hormonal regulation. I'd say you have to balance what hurts you more: symptoms of being on BC, or the symptoms of being off BC.

      You can also talk to your doctor about the different types of BC out there -- perhaps a lower hormone load like the "mini pill" would still do the trick.
      "Trust me, you will soon enter a magical land full of delicious steakflowers, with butterbacons fluttering around over the extremely rompable grass and hillsides."

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      • #4
        It really depends on the individual, and with what type of BC you use (each one reacts differently on different people). I know that I tended to gain 10 or so pounds, mostly water weight while on the pill. I also gained about that much immediately after I became pregnant (both times). Like seriously... within 2 days of becoming pregnant I weighed 10 pounds more. But that was just me.

        Just keep in mind it might take a little adjustment here and there to get one that works.

        Interestingly, there was a study somewhere that found that women on hormonal birth control put on muscle at a much slower rate than those that were not. I'm too lazy to find the actual study, but here's a little Science News blurb that describes the study and the theories the researchers came to: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/gene...training_gains

        What kind of symptoms are you having? I know that a lot of the ladies on here have noticed a severe change and decrease in their symptoms after going PB for a while and evening out their hormonal levels. I ask because it's possible that eating/exercising differently may help. There are also some herbal things you can do that will assist... like krill oil... that won't affect your hormones as much.

        Just some thoughts!
        Last edited by Minxxa; 08-10-2010, 12:42 PM. Reason: forgot something
        sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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        • #5
          A lot of women have found that the Pill simply masks their symptoms, rather than treating the underlying hormonal imbalances. There is some great research going on out there to treat the root causes, and of course, I've heard a lot of people get great relief as they get off of SAD eating and onto real food, esp. without so many grains & sugars. B vitamins often play a big part in problems of the reproductive cycle.

          No condemnation of all modern medicine by any means, but I do tire of doctors who want to throw drugs at every problem without getting to the bottom of what's going on.

          Here's hoping you find the solutions that work best for you!!
          5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
          Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
          Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
          Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
          ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

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          • #6
            Thanks all for your responses!

            I have been off the SAD for over a year now and have definitely seen a vast improvement in terms of abdominal cramping and back aches. However, I still have severe bloating (and I mean severe) and the mood swings which drives me batty. I've been on the pill once before and after being on it for only 3 weeks I decided it wasn't for me, at least the brand I was using at the time, because I became depressed.

            Currently, I feel OK. I'm trying to be more proactive in taking more fish oil, eating more sweet potatoes, taking herbal remedies, etc around the ovulation period to help alleviate the symptoms naturally (for mood and bloating). I recently saw my doctor and she suggested I try going on another brand of BC which made me want to get other opinions. While I DO want to alleviate the symptoms of the monthly cycle I DO NOT want to unnecessarily gain weight or not be able to lose these last pesky pounds. I guess I need to determine which option's pros outweighs the cons. Hmmm... still confused but it helps to hear from others.

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            • #7
              I'm not really familiar with what causes bloating for all people, but for me, it happens when I have over a certain level of carbs from grains, fruits, or starchy veggies in a day, usually about 40gm, I think. I don't know how it works in combination with hormonal cycles b/c I've been in lactational amenorrhea for most of 12 years. Mooooo.
              5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
              Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
              Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
              Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
              ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

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              • #8
                I'm not a fan of synthetic BC because it tends to promote estrogen dominance (hence the weight thing) and does raise the risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer: http://www.preventcancer.com/patient...avoid/pill.htm

                Ultimately, you want to deal with the underlying causes, which, for your symptoms, is likely your liver. I say this based upon a knowledge of and training in Chinese medicine. Emotional symptoms are classic "liver qi stagnation". A lot of us ladies suppress a whole lot of anger and frustration and this does a number on our liver and it "stagnates".

                There is a classic Chinese herbal formula that you can take starting 1-2 weeks before your period called "Xian Yao Wan". Planetary Formulas makes a version:
                http://www.iherb.com/Planetary-Herba...lets/1517?at=0

                For bloating, fresh parsley tea can be tremendously effective for water retention bloating and B6 may help as well.

                If your cycle needs regulating, Femaprin vitex (which has 32 clinical studies to support it) is really helpful (it helped me normalize the length of my cycle, which had gotten reaaaaally long after going Primal!)
                http://www.iherb.com/Nature-s-Way-Fe...ules/1945?at=0
                http://www.prettyinprimal.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  I guess on another note- what do primal women do for 'birth control' in and of itself? I'm assuming not all grokettes can NOT be on BC...??

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                  • #10
                    Ecological breastfeeding. I've been contemplating starting a thread. There is no more primal BC than this.

                    NFP until first child, and ecological bf'ing (which is not the same as cultural or even exclusive bf'ing) thereafter. Remember, Grokette would have had 5+ children (usually not the 10-Duggar19 people think of)... so far my five have all been spaced 2.5-3.5 years apart, purely by ecobf.
                    5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
                    Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
                    Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
                    Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
                    ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CJ4400 View Post
                      I guess on another note- what do primal women do for 'birth control' in and of itself? I'm assuming not all grokettes can NOT be on BC...??
                      I do Natural Family Planning. It takes about 10 seconds a day and is free
                      For lots of tasty recipes, check out my blog -http://lifeasadreger.wordpress.com/

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                      • #12
                        Just last week I sought a second opinion about the medical neccisity of stopping my period due to severe PMS. (Sadly, PB did not help me with this. I am 45 years old, BTW.)

                        She agreed with the first doctor, who wanted to put me on depo provera. She said 3 out of 10 patients will gain up to 15 pounds, and no matter what you, those extra pounds aren't going to budge. I decided to stick with birth control pills (I've been on them for over 20 years, and for many years they were a miracle cure for my PMS.)

                        She said I was already doing everything I could, with included birth control pills, an anti-depressant, exercise and good nutrition. She suggested, if I want to do absolutely everything I could, then I should add B6 and calcium with Vit. D (I was already taking Vit. D) to my diet.

                        Also, on the MDA website, there is a "Community" tab on the tool bar that leads to special interest groups here on MDA. These groups do not appear on the Forum. There is one for women's issues. You might want to join, in case there are future sensitive topics you feel uncomfortable about posting on the Forum!

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                        • #13
                          Thanks Bird Goddess! I had no idea about the Special Interest groups. Will definitely check that out! =)

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                          • #14
                            Just to throw this out there... sometimes issues like bloating, etc are due to other underlying illnesses. So it can be good to keep an eye on it and see what, if anything, helps or affects it.

                            I know cillakat has some info on krill oil in her google docs (in her sig line), and she says that helps a lot. i'm considering adding that to my regimen soon. I was giving progesterone pills (low dose) a shot, but I don't think it's made enough of a difference in my wierd periods to keep it up.

                            I have used Vitex before (as did a friend of mine) and she had good results with it. I just never did it long enough to notice, I think (it was a few years ago).

                            And I guarantee you my liver is an issue... years of diet coke and a few years of some decent alcohol use. No bueno. I've cut back (almost cut out) the alcohol and will get rid of the soda this next month as well. Taking milk thistle and drinking some pau d'arco teas, things like that for a few months to see how it helps.

                            And yes, I know I need to cut out the soda now.. but I just can't do too many huge changes at once, they don't stick. So I'm spacing them out. I do have a plan

                            As for non-hormonal BC, there are several options I think. Other than what was already discussed, I know several grokettes use an IUD (copper I think) which doesn't contain hormones.

                            Me, i had the tubes tied 6 years ago. I knew I wasn't going to have anymore and didn't want to muck with my hormones. Worked for me...
                            sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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                            • #15
                              I was on chemical bc for a number of years and I think it took its toll on my body. A naturopath indicated that bc pills tend to deplete the body of certain vitamins and minerals and recommended that I take a high dose b-complex supplement and extra magnesium daily. That seemed to help.

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