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Obesity and Birth Control: What’s the Deal?


Combination birth control pills contain two hormones, progestin and estrogen, but progestin is what really makes it work, says Mitchell D. Creinin, M.D., OB/GYN and family planning expert at UC Davis Health in Sacramento, CA. “For some progestins, the distribution in the body is very weight-dependent,” he explains. Research suggests that in women with obesity, progestin taken orally may not be absorbed, metabolized, and distributed properly, impacting its effectiveness. Many questions remain, but experts do know that obesity can cause physiological and metabolic changes that can impact how medications are distributed and how quickly the body clears them out.



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