Important Facts You Should Know About Birth Control Pills As A Plus-Sized Woman With PCOS

If you are a plus-sized woman and have been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, also known as PCOS, you may be surprised that your birth control options and needs are more limited or complicated than they might otherwise be. Due to the hormonal fluctuations, ovulatory issues, health concerns and weight challenges that PCOS is known for causing, it is crucial for you to consider the following information about birth control pills when making decisions about their use. In addition, it is important to note that PCOS is unusual in that while its diagnosis has long been associated with infertility issues in some women, it can also render birth control pills less effective in others.  

#1-Your Weight May Render Some Birth Control Pills Less Effective

Given that more than 17% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 use one form of the birth control pill, it is obvious that its role in providing reduced birth rates has been well established in recent years. Unfortunately, as your weight increases, it is very possible that the hormone levels in your birth control pills may not be enough to provide the same success at preventing pregnancy that you expect. 

 As a result, it has become increasingly common for women with PCOS to use a combination form of birth control pills that feature both progestin and estrogen. Birth control pills that feature only one hormone may not provide enough protection against unplanned pregnancy for heavier women or for those women with the hormonal issues so common with PCOS. The use of a birth control pill providing three or more hormonal aspects continues to be debated for both categories of women.

#2-The Birth Control Pill Is Usually Effective For Giving You A Monthly Cycle, But Does Not Cure PCOS

Unfortunately, many women with PCOS are not diagnosed until they have suffered for years or have been unable to conceive. One common misconception that women with PCOS who experience irregular menstrual cycles often have is that since the birth control typically provides a monthly cycle, it will be easy to get pregnant later on., However, the truth is that while having a monthly cycle is generally a good idea, birth control pills merely suppress ovulation and allow the uterus to be cleaned of its lining. That monthly bleed is not actually a normal menstrual cycle and it is a good idea to remember that the use of the pill has been associated with the reduced likelihood of endometrial hyperplasia.

Endometrial hyperplasia happens when the lining in the inside of your uterus is not shed for significant portions of time through either a menstrual cycle or induced bleed, which is what the pill gives you. Over time, the unshed lining can cause discomfort, and increase your chances of developing endometrial cancer. However, when you quit taking oral birth control, the benefits associated with it quickly vanish as well. Therefore, if you are on the pill now for either birth control or to correct irregular or absent periods and would like the option of getting pregnant eventually, it is a good idea to talk with your doctor about your concerns.

In conclusion,  PCOS has resulted in significant weight and hormonal problems for many women and can have a life-long impact on your fertility. Since those changes can impact the effectiveness of your birth control pills, it is best to verify with your physician that your oral contraception will continue to be as effective at preventing pregnancy as they should be. Visit Healthcare for Women Only if you have questions.