copper uid and weight gain

How Copper IUDs Can be the Reason for Weight Gain

Weight gain is a common problem for women of all age groups. You will worry when choosing birth control that you may gain weight, since this is a side effect for many birth control procedures. So, is the copper intrauterine device (IUD) one of them? Read on to find the answer to this question.

About IUD

An IUD is a plastic and T-shaped device that is implanted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. You will find only one kind of copper IUD and that is known as ParaGard. A copper wire is actually coiled around the stem of the device. ParaGard will discharge copper into the uterine lining continuously and the copper counteracts  sperm, preventing fertilization.

Other IUDs help in introducing hormones into the body that thicken the cervical mucus preventing sperm from moving towards an egg. All IUDs have a string attached which enables you to be sure that it is in the right place. This string will help the doctor to remove device. If you are planning to conceive, an IUD can be removed at any time.

IUDs do not prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). If you think you may be at higher risk of contracting one, then it is advisable to use condoms as well.

The effectiveness of IUDs

The IUD is an effective birth control method having less than one pregnancy for each 100 women in a year. After insertion, the ParaGard copper IUD prevents pregnancy for about 10 years. Hormonal IUDs also help to prevent pregnancy for three to five years.

Risk factors involved

The Copper IUD has no hormones and its side effects are less than with hormonal IUDs or other hormonal birth control forms. These side effects include the following:

  • cramping
  • backache
  • anemia
  • bleeding between periods or breakthrough bleeding
  • pain during intercourse
  • vaginal inflammation
  • heavy periods
  • vaginal discharge
  • severe menstrual pain

An IUD will be removed from your body in extreme cases. This will probably be done if any of these take place.

  • you have not been pregnant before
  • you have extreme menstrual pain and heavy periods
  • you are under 20 years old
  • you have been expelled an IUD before
  • you had the IUD inserted immediately after child birth or after abortion during the second trimester

There is a small possibility of perforating the uterus at the time of placement and if perforation takes place, the IUD will be removed and surgery might be required.

Copper IUDs are associated with weight gain

Weight gain does not fall under the category of side effects of Para Gard. Anecdotal evidence from women who use this device suggests that IUDs can be the reason for weight gain however, scientific evidence is questionable.

According to a study in contraception assessing change in weight with copper IUDs, it has been found that weight increased in older women.

Though studies denote that IUD users have experienced weight gain, it is not clear if the gain had beendue to ageing or IUD and lifestyle factors like exercise and diet. Removing an IUD will not result in weight loss. Further research is needed to examine the correlation between the IUD and weight gain.

The need for an IUD

Birth control is a personal choice. Many women prefer using a copper IUD, but you should consider other options if you have any risk factors:

  • uterine abnormalities that occur due to placement
  • cervicalor uterine cancer
  • vaginal bleeding
  • pelvic infection
  • allergies to any components of IUD
  • higher risk of an STD
  • history of problems with IUD
  • Wilson’s disease that lead to the accumulation of copper in brain and other organs

A copper IUD is considered to be a suitable option for women who don’t want to take hormonal birth control or who wantlong-term birth control. However, to avoid weight gain, it is recommended you eat a well-balanced diet and staying fit may lessen your chances of gaining weight,  Ask our Gynae Clinic doctors about the copper IUD or visit here.

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