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Changes in weight, total fat, percent body fat, and central-to-peripheral fat ratio associated with injectable and oral contraceptive use

  • Abbey B. Berenson
    Correspondence
    Reprints: Abbey B. Berenson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555-0587
    Affiliations
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

    Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
    Search for articles by this author
  • Mahbubur Rahman
    Affiliations
    Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
    Search for articles by this author

      Objective

      The purpose of this study was to determine changes in bodyweight and composition that result from hormonal contraception.

      Study Design

      Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry was performed at baseline and every 6 months for 3 years for 703 women (African American, 200; white, 247; Hispanic, 256) who were beginning the use of oral contraception (OC; n = 245), depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA; n = 240), or nonhormonal contraception (NH; n = 218). DMPA discontinuers were observed for up to 2 years to examine the reversibility of the observed changes.

      Results

      Over 36 months, DMPA users increased their weight (+5.1 kg), body fat (+4.1 kg), percent body fat (+3.4%), and central-to-peripheral fat ratio (+0.1) more than OC and NH users (P < .01). OC use did not cause weight gain. After DMPA discontinuation, NH users lost 0.42 kg in 6 months; OC users gained 0.43 kg in 6 months.

      Conclusion

      Bodyweight and fat significantly increase with the use of DMPA. After discontinuation of DMPA, some decrease in bodyweight and fat occurs when NH is used.

      Key words

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