Do You Lose Weight After Mirena Removal?

After years of yo-yo dieting, Kelly McNeil’s binge-eating disorder was finally brought under control thanks to a contraceptive implant called Mirena. But rather than feeling liberated, the 34-year-old New Yorker says she now feels more pressure than ever to lose the baby weight she’s gained during her time on the pill.

“It’s more than just about the contraception; it’s also about the weight loss,” McNeil, who is now a registered dietitian and owner of the nutritional website EatWholeheartedly, told Elite Daily. “There is this cultural narrative that you are not a real woman unless you can beat your boobs against the wall – and the implication is that if you can’t, you shouldn’t get excited about anything.”

Indeed, while two years of Mirena treatment caused Kelly’s breasts to slump by an F-cup and her waist to slim down, her heaviest weight –– the result of her naturally bloated pregnancy –– has now settled in her stomach, giving her a paunch that she deems impossible to budge.

For others, the contraceptive injection does indeed help them lose weight. In 2019 alone, 16.9 million Americans took the Pill, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The figures were 64.5 million in 2018 and 57 million in 2017. Many women have reported noticeable weight loss after taking the Pill for years.

Whether or not you experience the same effects as Kelly, here’s what you need to know about the connection between the Pill and your waistline.

How Does The Pill Help You Lose Weight?

The Pill helps your body by controlling your menstrual cycle, which in turn helps to regulate your appetite. But more than that, it also affects the way your body processes food. Specifically, birth control pills alter the levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in your brain, which in turn change the way you experience hunger and fullness. This combination of hormones is what helps the Pill reduce your appetite – particularly the desire to eat sweets. As a result, you may find that you eat less than you normally would, especially of those foods high in calories and sugar. If this sounds like you, then the contraceptive injection is the perfect alternative.

However, this isn’t a weight loss method for everyone. If you’re already at your desired weight, then the injection has no effect whatsoever, and it may even cause you to gain a little weight. It really depends on your body type and the way your brain functions. But for those who are genuinely trying to lose weight, the Pill will most definitely prove to be a useful tool in the fight against the bulge.

Will The Pill Help You Beat The Boobies?

One of the side effects of the Pill is ‘inhibition of lactation’, which prevents your body from producing milk. Although this is largely considered a positive change for those concerned with their fertility, it does present a complication when it comes to weight loss. If you’re currently nursing, then it’s best to continue doing so while on the Pill. Otherwise, you run the risk of a gallstone episode, which can be life threatening. Fortunately, this is a rare side effect, and in most cases, it won’t be a problem. But if you’re determined to lose the weight and stop nursing, then you can certainly try. In fact, you may even experience the same benefits as Kelly did, as the hormone levels in your body will change, too.

Is It Safe To Eat Once You’ve Lost Weight On The Pill?

While the Pill does have many perks as far as weight loss is concerned, it should still be noted that there are some risks associated with taking the medication. The biggest one is that you may become insulin resistant. In other words, your body becomes less sensitive to the effects of insulin –– a hormone produced by the pancreas –– which in turn leads to higher blood sugar levels. Elevated blood sugar can cause serious damage to your teeth, kidney, and nerves, among other things. So while you may lose weight on the Pill, you need to make sure that your body is still able to function properly after years of being on the medications. Fortunately, this is a reversible process, and in most cases, it doesn’t pose a serious threat. But it’s still something to be mindful of, and you should discuss it with your doctor or midwife before beginning any form of weight loss treatment.

Why Do Some People Lose Their Weight On The Pill, While Others Don’t?

As noted, not everyone will experience the same effects from the Pill. In most cases, it will cause you to lose weight, particularly of the fat around your middle. However, the medication may not reduce your appetite as much as you’d like it to, and in some cases, it even causes weight gain. While it is generally considered a positive development, particularly for women concerned with their fertility, some users experience a loss of libido as a side effect. If this sounds like you, then you may need to try another weight loss method. In any case, your experience with the Pill will depend on your body type and how your body reacts to the medication.