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Will Going Off the Pill Cause Weight Loss?

I Went Off the Pill Thinking I'd Lose Weight, but Here's What Really Happened . . .

After having two children, I felt like I needed a more reliable form of birth control once my second stopped nursing. Charting my cycle proved to be previously ineffective since I was following it before getting pregnant with number two (love you, Devon!). I had also been experiencing annoying night sweats. Ten days out of each cycle, before and during my period, I'd wake up several times a night, completely soaked through my clothes. I finally saw my doctor, who confirmed what I thought — I needed to try hormonal birth control. I thought about the Mirena IUD, but she feared the dosage would be too low to help with the night sweats and suggested the pill instead.

One of the first questions I asked her was, "Can you put me on one that won't make me gain weight?" She smiled and reassured me that no statistics show birth control pills affecting weight, though some women may say differently based on their personal experience.

So I went home, pill pack in hand, ready to conquer fertility and night sweats. While I felt like I did gain a few pounds, I was also running a lot more, so it was most likely muscle mass. And the night sweats continued. Some months were better than others, but after 15 months on the pill, I had had enough and decided to call it quits. Having to remember to take that damn pill every day, and the fact that it didn't help my sweating issue, just put me over the edge. I was also trying to lose a little bit of weight I was holding onto since my last pregnancy (yes, my youngest was now almost 3), so I got a little excited thinking going off the pill would help me out.

One month went by, two months went by, it's now been three months and sadly, my doctor was right. Going off the pill didn't make the scale budge one bit. If anything, I may have gained a few pounds because thanks to PMS, I'm craving more sugar that week before my period arrives. On a side note, I also feel insanely emotional due to the natural fluctuation of my lovely hormones. With videos like moms empowering kids to exercise and elderly women giving advice to their younger selves, reaching for the box of tissues is a given. Miraculously, the night sweats disappeared after throwing out that last pill pack, so that's pretty exciting. All in all, I love being off the pill. And I've come to terms with the fact that I'll have to lose that extra bit of mummy tummy the good old-fashioned way with healthy eating and exercise.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne
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