Combined oral contraceptives and weight gain in young women

Combined oral contraceptives and weight gain in young women

M.M. Lech (1), L. Ostrowska (2)

Fertility and Sterility Research Center, Warsaw, Poland (1); Department of

Hygiene and Epidemiology, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland (2)

Introduction: There is a complex of reasons for overweight and obesity

in women; this phenomenon is related to genetic, endocrinological, social and

other factors. The common reason for obesity is high food supply and low

physical activity. Some of the pharmaceutical products may also affect energy

balance of the women and lead to overweight and obesity. List of such

pharmaceuticals is not fully defined but steroids (and most common, hormonal

contraceptives) are often included there.

Objective: The aim of the study was to present reasons and date on the

relation between the use of combined oral contraceptives (COC) and body weight

in young women.

Design and Methods: Observational study on the study group of young

women on COC and the control group of young women who never used COC. Cases for

study and control groups were recruited in selected gynecological clinics in

Poland during the period of 1st – 31st January 2002 (with the use of

randomization method). Statistical analysis was done using the Program

Statistica for Windows. In the multifactorial analysis the model of logistic

regression was used, regression indicators values were established using SPSS

Packet for Windows Release 6.0. Observation and comparison of anthropometrics

parameters, past reproductive history and nutrition status in the group of 145

young women on COC (study group) and 218 young women (control) who never used


Results: Both groups (study and control) were almost identical

regarding age, anthropometrics characteristics, number of pregnancies and

deliveries, body mass and BMI. On the basis of this investigation, there is no

relation between use of COC and weight gain. Observed (in both groups) weight

gain in young women was most probably related rather to time passing (patients

were getting older). The higher risk for overweight and obesity was found in the

group of young women who have got already problems with overweight in their

childhood and in the group of women with high weight gain during first pregnancy.

Conclusion: Combined oral contraceptive use is not associated with

weight gain in young women living in Poland.

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