Is The Pill Effective For Overweight Women? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/12/05-Tyler

Is The Pill Effective For Overweight Women?

For some women, birth control pills may not be the most effective tool for preventing pregnancy. A new study in the journal "Obstetrics and Gynecology" finds overweight or obese women on the pill had a sixty to seventy percent higher risk of getting pregnant.

"If three people with a normal weight get pregnant on birth control pills, 5 obese women may get pregnant on birth control," says Physician Assistant Rene McCarty says the pill doesn't prevent pregnancy as well in overweight women for two possible reasons.

"Overweight people tend to have a higher metabolism so their body may chew up the medicine faster. And we know fat stores estrogen, so high levels of fat may store the estrogen and keep it from being available to the tissues," says McCarty.

So what qualifies as overweight?

"We're talking about a body mass index over 30. That would be maybe a woman that is 5'4 and over 160 pounds," says McCarty.

If you are on the Ortho Evra patch, your risk of getting pregnant if your overweight is much higher than if you were on the pill.

"The manufacture recommends women over 200 pounds not use the patch," says McCarty.

With this new information, Rene is now suggesting all of her patients who are considered medically overweight, take a stronger dose of medication or add another type of birth control.

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