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Weight Gain and Paragard

 Let me preface this by saying that I love being off hormones and very badly want the Paragard to work for me.

I can't stand my stomach right now.  It has only gotten worse since insertion in February.  If I let it out as far as it can go naturally, I look 6 months pregnant.  I was a size 4 and 127 lbs at insertion, and have never fluctuated very much in weight unless I ate much more than usual.  But after insertion I very quickly (within a couple weeks) became a size 6+ in my pants and am now about 136 lbs.  It seems to mostly be around my stomach.  I didn't have this dramatic of a weight gain even on the Pill.  A quick google of other sites doesn't seem to indicate that it will go away.

Scientifically I'm not sure what might be causing this.  I've heard of people taking zinc to counteract the copper because of hair loss and other symptoms, but I can't find any evidence that the copper would cause the weight issues.  I read something else that suggested that the inflammation of the uterus might cause the weight gain.

I  feel disgusting enough to want to get the IUD taken out (i.e. I won't be able to wear a bathing suit this summer because people WILL think I'm pregnant), but I can't because it's the most bearable birth control out there for me and I need to stick with it.  I'm just so frustrated.... sex just isn't worth it for me (although my relationship is).


( 49 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 3rd, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
Did you go off of hormones right when you had the insertion? If so I'm willing to bet that that's 9 lbs of bloat/water weight, and that it isn't permanent.
May. 3rd, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
I had this problem, but I countered it by drinking a lot of water, which is just good for you anyways. The water weight goes right away.
May. 3rd, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
I could be wrong, but I don't think there's any clinical reason that the paragard should be causing weight gain.

I'd agree with above posters that going off the pill and/or retaining water might be the causes. Regardless, I'd try losing the weight through the methods above or diet changes and exercise before removing the IUD. Try to stay calm, keep things in perspective, and not let something like a little perceived weight gain derail your body image, sex life, and reproductive health.
May. 3rd, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
I have never heard of any evidence that non-hormonal methods of birth control could in and of themselves cause weight gain. Also, 9 pounds of weight gain is inconsistent with the dramatic kind of weight gain that is associated with (hormonal) birth control.

Nine pounds is not a significant weight gain at any rate, and certainly not enough to look 'six months pregnant'! I am very short even and while weight shows up faster on short people, ten pounds or so is something you notice, but other people really don't. And if they do they need to get a life.

Have you considered seeing a nutritionist or a doctor to talk about what is a normal weight for your height and body type, and come up with some sensible and sensitive ideas for maintaining a healthy weight, seeing yourself in a positive light and being happy with your body as it is.

Good luck.
Jul. 24th, 2014 07:17 pm (UTC)
Weight Gain, other symptoms
I lost weight and kept it off for a year on Paragard, Once the year in a half mark hit I started gaining weight. I didn't change my diet or anything. I kept gaining. I went from 120 lbs size 00-0 pants to a size 4 at 158 lbs. There is a such thing as called copper toxicity from the IUD and it can cause weight gain. It can also make you feel as though you will be having a yeast infection every other month or every month before your period. I was checked no STI's not BV no Yeast Infection. It can also make your moods sucky worse than before. It was all after the year in a half mark. Do your research before getting this. I am getting it removed in a few days, honestly I can NOT WAIT!! This thing has also caused me to look like I was having the lining from my uterus coming out. They said it was from Tampons. I don't believe that as I have NEVER once had any issues before the insertion of this awful thing. I am also a Vegetarian, eat Extremely HEALTHY!
May. 3rd, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Er...I gained weight on every single pill I ever tried.

But I've never gained a pound on my paragard. Heck, I'm even losing weight with diet and exercise, something I was unable to do on the pill.
Apr. 11th, 2012 04:59 am (UTC)
I'm planning on getting the PG inserted and have read a lot of stories about woman gaining weight and other issues such as heavy bleeding and cramps. My concern is the weight...I've already over weight and really do not want to add on. Yours was the first story that I read where you actually lost weight. I noticed that its been a few years now since your post on here so I just wanted to check with you to see if you are still losing weight? or if you are having problems with paragard.

May. 3rd, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
I'm not a vain person and it is definitely not an imagined occurrence. My weight has crept up at other times gradually due to overeating and inactivity, but this is different because it's like a bowling ball suddenly appeared in my stomach within two weeks of IUD insertion. It's not about my body image or happiness with myself. Nine pounds that has all seemed to immediately go to one spot is a little scary for me and I'm trying to figure out why it's happened. I guess a foreign body close to the abdomen can cause some issues.

I'm not taking the IUD out, since I paid $550 out of pocket for that sucker (terrible insurance). I think my next step is to cut out diet pop and drink a lot of water to see if that helps the bloating. Thanks for the input :)
May. 3rd, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Re: okay...
I've got paragard too and this happens to me when I get my period. I bloat up so bad that I can barely stand up straight. I don't look 6 mos. pregnant, but my stomach does distend quite a bit. (I also get shooting pains in my rectum, but I think this is because I have a retroverted uterus.) I had all of these issues before I got paragard; they're just worse now. The good part is that they end with my period. If yours don't, I think you might want to get things checked out down there. You could have an infection of some sorts. To help the bloating, I've found that extra water, Activia yogurt, peppermint tea, and cuttind down the salt/caffeine/artificial sweetener has helped.
Re: okay... - elkay - May. 4th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: okay... - clarinka - May. 4th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 3rd, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
I understand how it's creepy. I had to work like mad to gain ten pounds. I'm up a pants size right now too, but I'm only two days post-insertion so I'm not too worried. If it's inflammation, ibuprofen/naproxen might work... if it's water retention, that can be fixed too. I think nine pounds of fat would have distributed itself more evenly, not all in the abdomen.

Do come back and post what happens, so we all know what to do. =) Good luck!
May. 3rd, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Odd. I've lost about 10 pounds since switching to the paraguard and I'm continuing to loose weight. It makes me quite happy as I've already gone down a pants size without any change in diet and a lower activity level.
May. 4th, 2008 10:02 am (UTC)
For the first few months my belly was sort of swollen, and I didn't suck it in at all because I was tender. It's mostly gone now. I do still feel like I have more on my belly than I used to though, although I didn't actually gain any weight.

I've thought about getting mine taken out too, but I can't stand condoms, and refuse to do hormonal BC, so I don't really have another choice. =P
May. 4th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, many people have a slightly puffy tummy after getting their IUD during adjustment. I had that too, but without significant weight gain I don't think. It went away.
May. 5th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
The weight might go away in a couple months. *crosses fingers*
Jun. 2nd, 2008 09:07 am (UTC)
Paraguard CAN Cause Weight Gain!
I have had the Paraguard since October 2007 and I am experiencing the same thing! I switched from the Mirena to the Paraguard in hopes that I would not have mood swings and weight gain like I did with Mirena. Unfortunately I am still steadily gaining weight, I was always a steady 107 lbs., at 5'2". Now I am 122 lbs., and I look pregnant! I eat pretty healthy, tofu... lean red meat, plenty of vegetables. I have even become more active - cardio, weights, pilates/yoga - to no avail. I've gone from a size 1/3 to a 5/7, I do not fit into any of my old clothes except for sweatsuits. It's not that I feel overweight, but I am very small-boned and it does not look right on me.

Not only am I gaining weight but I have been experiencing pain in my right side, now finally tonight my left side (hence the Google searches on the Paraguard), the occasional pain during intercourse, unusual and FREQUENT discharge and heavier periods (though they don't last any longer than before). The only idea I can think of that would cause the weight gain is the fact that the Paraguard is still a foreign object in your body... your uterus nonetheless. Perhaps your body thinks you are pregnant and holds onto whatever fat it can in an attempt to keep reserves for the 'bun in the oven'?

I am scheduling an appointment tomorrow to have it removed. I am not used to such pain and weight gain and I've been on Depo-Provera AND Mirena without such consequences. I will miss having a libido, which was the 2nd best feature of the Paraguard, after not having to worry about getting pregnant for 10 yrs.!
Feb. 8th, 2009 12:41 am (UTC)
Re: Paraguard CAN Cause Weight Gain!
Hello. I have the Mirena ( 15 months). I have not gained weight but my sex drive has lessened and I am more moody. Just wondering how the Paragard overall was for ur mood and sex drive.
RE: Re: Paraguard CAN Cause Weight Gain! - Lisa Flores - Jul. 31st, 2018 04:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Paraguard CAN Cause Weight Gain! - tucktuck3 - Feb. 25th, 2009 08:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 3rd, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
paraguard = puffy tummy
i'd like to preface this by saying that I love my paragard -- the benefits far outweigh the side effects. At least I don't have hormones making me into a nut job! :)

i got my lovely copper baby-blocker in Feb '08. The only downer is the periods = brutal!! Super heavy bleeding and really painful cramps. The cramps have subsided a little with each month tho. But 4 months post-insertion, I think my tummy is still swollen. It makes sense tho [sorry for the TMI] -- everything was pretty swollen inside for a couple weeks after the insertion. Intercourse was even painful in certain positions for the first two months [thankfully no longer an issue!].

Anyway, for a while I thought my slightly puffier pooch was due to my 8-10lb winter-weight-gain. But I realized that my pooch has a different look and around my period, my whole abdomen is kinda tender and it hurts to wear tight jeans. Hence I think I'm still swollen.

So here's my theory about paragard weight gain - at least for me: I think having brutal periods has contributed to my general lack of enthusiasm for working out. It's hard to play soccer and go to yoga or the gym when I physically just don't feel good. And I'm not used to having cramps the week before my period! Plus my period is like 7 heavy heavy days long now. Not fun...

So I think being crampy and/or bleeding for half the month put me on a downward spiral of weight gain -- cause skipping the gym becomes habitual SO easily!

I just hope my periods get better! In the meantime, I just need to buck up, take some ibuprofen and get back on the fitness train! sorry to sound so cheesy but I hope this helps others that are being affected the same way.
Dec. 15th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
Paragard / weight
I had my Paragard inserted 33 days ago and have, since then, gained shocking 9 lbs., without any other big lifestyle change. I'm a vegetarian, exercise regularly, and try to stay healthy and active; I don't have a history of significant bloating before or during my period; I drink 8-10 glasses of water daily in an effort to keep my body hydrated and flushed. Also, I have never been on hormonal birth control -- only condoms and diaphragms until now -- so I know the weight gain can't be attributed to switching over from a pill.

We've heard from some women who insist that Paragard can't affect weight, since it doesn't introduce hormones into our bodies, and this may sound logical -- but the truth is that the medical community doesn't know why copper prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg. The whole basis of why & how Paragard works is a mystery. Given this large gap in our medical knowledge of Paraguard, it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to think that copper may possibly affect our bodies in other ways than preventing fertilization. We already know that it tends to make periods heavier and longer, and intensifies cramps, so why do we so readily dismiss weight gain as a possible side effect? Again, we don't know why Paragard works, but it obviously does. It is really so impossible to believe that it may not trigger weight gain in some women.

Another unpleasant side effect seems to be, for me, acne. I usually have clear(ish) skin, but I now have small eruptions all over the lower half of my face. The left side of my chin feels pebbly with at least 15 small pimples. I'm on day 6 of my first period with Paragard and, in addition to the severe cramps and shocking quantity of blood, seem to have the complexion of an unfortunate 15 year old. (I'm 31 and have never had much acne, even as a teenager.)

My bigger concern right now is the weight gain. It disgusts me that in only a month I've gained so much weight that I can't fit into my favorite jeans... even my loose clothes feel snug. I've always had a flat stomach, but I can now feel it pudging out, even when flat on my back in bed.

Have those of you who have noticed weight gain stuck with the Paragard or have you had it removed? Either way, did you notice a return to your normal weight? I love the convenience of Paragard, but won't sacrifice my weight for it.
Jan. 7th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
Re: Paragard / weight
Well i have had the paragard since June of 2007....initially i had no problems at all with the insertion or the recovery or the side effects (none at the time).

Now, a year and a half later, I have gained 25 pounds (barely eating), mainly in my face and abdomen, and am having a hair loss issue. I am not taking any medication that could be causing any of these problems...i've racked my brain thinking it's my fault.

I have severe cramping especially during my period. I also bleed heavier than before. The pain is almost specifically isolated to my left side though. And not a cervical pain, more like ovarian? I actually had my doctor do several tests and they found a tiny cyst which should not be the reason for all this.

I have two kids so i am not having the paragard removed, but these side effects which are normally blamed on hormones DO happen with the copper IUD as well.

So sad,
Re: Paragard / weight - cbdetroit - Feb. 16th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Paragard / weight - apathyinside - Jan. 13th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Paragard / weight - laniberry - Jan. 13th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Paragard / weight - bduffy777 - Apr. 25th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Angela Hamon - Mar. 30th, 2012 05:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 28th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Weight gain
I just had the Paraguard removed yesterday. I had spotting and heavy bleeding since I had it inserted in July 2008. I gained 15 lbs and haven't changed my eating habits too much, actually I started trying to watch what I eat more carefully. As soon as the paraguard was removed the bleeding stopped. I am hoping this 15 lbs will come off also. I didn't think the paraguard could be the cause of my weight gain until reading these posts. Everyone's body is different so I'm sure a foreign object in the body can have different effects on different women. I'm going back to the Nuva Ring to regulate my period and its easy. Expensive but easy. Good Luck!
Sep. 17th, 2009 02:45 am (UTC)
To: People curious about Paragard
First, let me say, I have 1 child, who just turned 6 years old and I had her vaginally. My body does not handle hormones well AT ALL! After years of trying different birth control methods, Paradard was my last option.

I had it inserted January 26th, 2009. First of all, the insertion was very painful, followed by a week of horrible cramping.

I then got PID( pelvic inflammatory infection)
which i had to take antibiotics for.

Here is my period calendar since insertion:

1/18/09- started period
1/25- p. over
1/26- IUD insertion
1/27- started bleeding again
2/2- p. over
2/9- started
2/23- p over
3/11- started
3/19- stopped
4/6- started
4/16- stopped
5/3-5/13 period
5/22- spotting
6/3-6/11- period
6/29-7/20 period
8/1-8/13 period
8/24-8/31 period
9/4 spotting
9/5 spotting
9/6 spotting
9/15- present period

Now, doesnt that seem a little ridiculous to anyone?

But wait, it gets better. My periods were heavy and PAINFUL! I had to get 2 perscriptions for vicodin! and 1 for ultram (tramadol).

Ive taken countless ibuprophen and diuretics for pain and swelling
which you need to know, the swelling has been HORRIBLE! To the point where i have been in tears on countless occasions because of the level of discomfort and weight gain.

And on the topic of weight gain, i dont care what any doctor or ANYONE says, the Paragard DOES cause weight gain. I am a fit and active person and have maintained my weight for years.


Not only have i been completely uncomfortable and in horrible pain for so long, i never have sex anymore because i feel disgusting, and im always on my period!

Do your research before getting this thing! Its crazy.

Oh, and someone else had mentioned other digestive issues maybe being associated with this and i agree. my cramps were nothing like they used to be, i feel it all the way up my abdomen to my chest. anytime i have gas or a BM, it irritates my uterus.

Sometimes, the pain can be dabilitating.

My doc kept telling me "wait it out. it will get better"

Well, im done with that. I have an appointment next week to get my life back.
Nov. 12th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
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