Navigation Links
UTMB study identifies women at risk of gaining excessive weight with injectable birth control

GALVESTON, Texas Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have identified women who are likely to gain weight while using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, more commonly known as Depo-Provera or the birth control shot. These findings dispel the myth that all women who use DMPA will gain weight and will help physicians to counsel patients appropriately.

DMPA users whose weight increased by 5 percent within the first six months of use, called "early gainers," are at risk of continued, excessive weight gain. While 75 percent of users gained little or no weight, the early gainers averaged weight gain of 24 pounds over three years.

"DMPA-related weight gain is linked to increased abdominal fat, a known component of metabolic syndrome, which raises the risk of obesity-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes," said corresponding author Dr. Abbey Berenson, professor in UTMB's department of obstetrics and gynecology.

The researchers recommend that physicians tailor counseling based on women's risk factors, closely monitor weight at each three-month follow-up visit and suggest a different contraception method to patients who gain significant weight within the first six months of use.

Researchers found that early gainers exhibited three major risk factors: A body mass index under 30, having children before starting DMPA and a self-reported increase in appetite after six months of DMPA use.

The study, which appears in the August issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, followed 240 women ages 16-33 who used DMPA for up to three years. Researchers looked at several potential predictors of weight gain, including age, race, baseline obesity prior to DMPA use, lifestyle variables such as smoking and exercise level, and weight gain at six months. They found that those who had gained more than 5 percent of their body weight within six months, or after just two injections of DMPA, continued to gain significant weight during the next 30 months.

While previous studies have associated birth control-related weight gain with a higher BMI, Berenson's study suggests that a lower BMI under 30 is more predictive. "The amount of DMPA administered to a woman does not change based on weight, as occurs with some medications," Berenson said. "The drug may be more concentrated in the tissue of a woman with a BMI under 30 and may contribute to excessive weight gain, but more research is needed."

The biological mechanism of DMPA-related weight gain is still unknown, but researchers note that possible mechanisms include glucocorticoid-like activity, how the body breaks down simple carbohydrates such as glucose, and DMPA-associated interference with insulin action. Previous findings seem to argue against the theory that weight gain could be due to the drug's perceived effects on increased caloric intake and decreased energy expenditure, but ongoing research is needed to confirm or discount varying possible explanations.

DMPA is an injected contraceptive administered to patients every three months. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, more than 2 million American women use DMPA, including approximately 400,000 teens. DMPA is relatively inexpensive compared with some other forms of birth control, has a low failure rate and doesn't need to be administered daily, which contributes to the contraceptive's popularity.

This study builds upon UTMB research released earlier this year that found DMPA users gain significant weight not seen among women using oral or nonhormonal contraception. The study was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Yen-Chi L. Le, of UTMB's department of obstetrics and gynecology, and Mahbubur Rahman, of UTMB's Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health, contributed to this research.


Contact: Kristen Hensley
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Related biology news :

1. Noise pollution negatively affects woodland bird communities, says CU-Boulder study
2. Scripps-led study shows ocean health plays vital role in coral reef recovery
3. $2 million grant aids study of lung cancer in people who never smoked
4. University of Miami receives stimulus funds for study of hurricane impacts on structures, ecosystems
5. Study explains potential failure of oral contraceptives with obese women
6. Study by NTU professors provides important insight into apoptosis or programmed cell death
7. Probiotics help gastric-bypass patients lose weight more quickly, Stanford study shows
8. New study ranks hotspots of human impact on coastal areas
9. Work in mice will contribute to the study of hereditary diseases that lead to blindness
10. UAB study reveals bone coupling factor key to skeletal health
11. Army study improves ability to predict drinking water needs
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and ... the "Capacitive Fingerprint Sensors - Technology and Patent ... --> --> Fingerprint ... especially in smartphones. The fingerprint sensor vendor Idex forecasts ... sensor units in mobile devices and of the fingerprint ...
(Date:11/18/2015)... -- As new scientific discoveries deepen our understanding of how ... face challenges in better using that knowledge to guide ... more children continue to survive pediatric cancer, that counseling ... John M. Maris, M.D ., a pediatric ... . --> John M. Maris, M.D ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... -- Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. Dick W. ... --> --> Mr. Boyce ... at TPG Capital, one of the largest global investment ... revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s Operating Group, which ... 1997 to 2013.  In his first role, he served ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015 ... "2016 U.K. Virology and Bacteriology Testing Market: ... Tests, Supplier Shares by Test, Innovative Technologies, ... offering.  --> ) has ... Virology and Bacteriology Testing Market: Sales and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)...  An interventional radiology technique shows promise for helping morbidly ... a study being presented today at the annual meeting of ... (RSNA). --> --> ... radiologists as a way to stop bleeding in emergency situations, ... of treating obesity is new. Mubin Syed , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Epigenetics Corp. ("Zenith" or the "Company") today announced that it ... Board of Directors to replace Dr. Peter Johann . ... as co-founder of Resverlogix, with expertise in the fields of ... --> Dr. Wong remarked, "I am very excited to ... expertise in epigenetics and the advanced stage of the R&D ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 ... in the development of innovative peptide and gene-based immunotherapeutics ... disease, today announced it will be presenting at the ... December 1, 2015 at 2.30 PM PT. Dr. ... Strategic Advisor will be giving the presentation and will ...
Breaking Biology Technology: