: Researchers from the University Of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus say that genetics may explain why some women gain weight when using a popular method of birth control.
Dr Aaron Lazorwitz, an assistant Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Family Planning at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and lead author of the study told Thailand Medical News, "For years, women have said that birth control causes them to gain weight but many doctors failed to take them seriously. Now we have looked at the genetics and found that the way genes interact with some hormones in birth control could help explain why some women gain more weight than others.”
The study was published recently in the journal Contraception
The most commonly used contraceptive: the etonogestrel contraceptive implant, which is inserted under the skin, contains etonogestrel, a kind of progestin that inhibits ovulation, and is considered among the most effective types of birth control.
The medical researchers in the study reviewed the medical records of 276 women who received the implant. They found these women had a median weight gain of about 7 pounds over an average of 27 months of use. Nearly three-quarters of the women gained weight.
Detailed investigation led the study team to conclude that genetic variants in estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1) among some of the women were associated with significant weight gain.
It was observed that on the average, women with two copies of the ESR1 rs9340799 variant gained over 30 pounds more while using the contraceptive implant than other women in the study.
Past studies has found links between ESR1 genetic variants and the workings of other types of medications, the study authors noted.
Although this researched focused on the etonogestrel contraceptive implant, other birth control drugs could have similar interactions with genes that cause weight gain, the study team said.
Dr Lazorwitz added, "It is imperative to better understand how individual genetic variation may influence a woman's risk of adverse weight gain while using these contraceptives.”
At the present moment there is no way to identify who will gain weight when using such contraceptives. Health care providers can provide counseling about potential weight gain or suggest non-hormonal forms of birth control such as copper intrauterine devices (IUDs), the medical researchers suggested.
Dr Eva Dindinger, a co-author of the research said, "As healthcare professionals’ understanding of pharmacogenomics in women's health expands, we can soon develop individualized counseling that may reduce the incidence of hormone-related adverse effects, improve patient satisfaction, and help prevent future health risks associated with weight gain.”
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