Birth control pills, or oral contraceptives, are no less effective for obese women when compared to thinner women, explains a study answering the question whether or not birth control pills can effectively prevent pregnancy for heavier women.
For this study, 226 women, between the ages of 18 and 35 ranging from a normal weight to overweight were randomly given a low or high dose birth control pill.
Between three and four months after starting the pill, women were examined to determine whether or not ovulation was suppressed from the pill.
The women who consistently used the pill, 150 in total, 3 of 96 women at a normal weight ovulated and ovulation occurred in obese women at a rate of 1 of 54 women. Ovulation was more likely when a woman did not take the pill consistently.
Experts use this study to reinforce the idea that the birth control pill is only effective when taken each day. The weight of a woman appears to have no impact on whether or not she will ovulate, but whether or not she takes the pill does impact ovulation.
Researchers also noticed low-dose birth control pills were no less effective than high-dose pills when taken by an obese woman. This information is interesting as many previously thought obese women require a higher-dose. The risk for blood clot development increases when obese women take a birth control pill, and the risk is increased when using a higher-dose pill.
Realizing lower dose pills are as effective for preventing pregnancy in obese women allows those women to protect themselves from additional health risks.