Hormonal contraceptive methods are designed to regulate your cycle and prevent ovulation. Oral birth control pills if not chosen wisely or without regard to their affect on other hormones or proteins in the body can cause weight gain and other side effects. There are different forms of hormones available for perimemopausal and menopausal women that actually HELP women lose weight, improve mood and feel like themselves again.
Often the problem with oral hormonal contraceptives is that it can lower the amount of free testosterone in the body. It does this by releasing a protein that bind free testosterone when the oral hormone is metabolized in the liver ( first pass liver effect.).
Testosterone is responsible for enhancing libido, restoring energy, strengthening bone, and relieving depression. It also helps with mental clarity and utilization of glucose.
Oral contraceptives also contain progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone that primarily in premenopausal women prepares the body for pregnancy which makes women have food cravings, hold water weight and feel sleepy. This protective mechanism is ideal for keeping mom and baby safe, but isn’t ideal for women who are not intending to become pregnant. Too high of a progesterone ratio in some pills exacerbate this even further.
For menopausal women, low doses of progesterone may be necessary, but not at the levels found in oral birth control pills that cause undesirable side effects.