Weight Change and Hormonal Contraception: Fact and Fiction

Mags E Beksinska; Jenni A Smit; Franco Guidozzi


Expert Rev of Obstet Gynecol. 2011;6(1):45-56. 

In This Article

Combined Injectables

Combined progestin and estrogen monthly injectables work primarily by preventing ovulation. Formulations include medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA)/estradiol cypionate and NET-EN/estradiol valerate. These formulations are known under several brand names, including Cyclofem® (The Concept Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland), Lunelle (Pfizer, NY, USA) and Mesigyna® (Bayer Schering Pharma, Leverkusen, Germany). The FDA has approved the use of Lunelle, although it is not yet available in the USA and this method is mainly used in Latin America and Asia. There is limited information on weight change, with one study finding that weight increases were dependent on baseline weight, as has been shown with DMPA-IM.[58] In this study, women weighing less than 50 kg gained more weight than those of greater baseline weight. Those weighing more than 64 kg at baseline showed no weight gain at 4 months, and by 13 months only 1.7% had gained weight compared with 7.7% of those weighing less than 50 kg. This study also found that discontinuation rates due to weight increase were proportional to weight at admission. A study that included both Cyclofem and Mesigyna with a large sample of 2252 women in Egypt found that weight gain was not a major cause of discontinuation, although weight gains of approximately 0.33 kg per month were observed in both groups.[59]


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