2007 -2009 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
Objective: To determine the side effects of weight gain from contraceptive use is a major factor in choosing which contraceptive to take or whether to chose an alternative birth control method and to examine if females who are currently on, or have previously taken, a contraceptive have more weight gain during college than those not taking any contraceptive.
Design: Analytical survey study
Setting: University of Kentucky
Subjects: 100 female undergraduate college students from Human Nutrition classes and a sorority.
Methods: Two surveys were administered to the subjects to gather information about contraceptive use and weight gain and perception of contraceptive use. The data received from the surveys was analyzed using Microsoft Excel to organize the data into charts and graphs.
Results: Out of the 45 females who filled out the first survey, 64% reported that they currently use some type of contraceptive. For contraception users, 41% reported weight gain during their time taking the contraceptive. The most common type of contraceptive used was the pill and the pill-brand most frequently selected was Ortho tri-cyclen. The second survey found that 40% of the participants do not currently take any form of contraceptive because they do not need it, are not sexually active, or are concerned about weight gain. Approximately 71% of the women polled reported that the side effect of weight gain would have no effect on them choosing a contraceptive.
Conclusions: The study revealed that the use of contraceptives can have a significant impact on weight gain, but it does not necessarily stop females from using contraceptives.