An increase in breast size is widely thought to be a common side effect of starting birth control pills — but is there any truth to this assumption?
If you are starting birth control with the primary purpose of increasing your breast size, it is crucial to know the other side effects and uses of birth control pills. Additionally, there is a lack of meaningful research correlating birth control to increases breast size, meaning this may not be your best option if this is the main benefit you are striving for.
This article explores the side effects of birth control pills, including whether or not they are capable of increasing your breast size. Keep reading to learn about the most common side effects you can expect to experience from birth control pills and why a long-term increase in breast size is likely not one of them.
As with any medication, taking birth control may produce common side effects. Side effects from birth control typically only occur during the first one to two months of use, subsiding once the body adjusts to the change in its hormonal chemistry.
These side effects often include:
As stated, these side effects should resolve on their own after one to two months of consistent use of birth control. These side effects should be mild. Contact your healthcare practitioner immediately if they are severe or persist past the first couple of months of consistent use.
More serious side effects can occur in rare cases requiring immediate medical attention. These include:
Additionally, certain risk factors can make certain people incompatible with estrogen-containing birth control (also called combination birth control pills). These risk factors include:
Before starting birth control pills, always discuss the possible risk factors resulting from your medical history and lifestyle habits with your healthcare practitioner.
All birth control pills are a type of hormonal birth control. This form of birth control is highly effective at 91% with typical use and 99.7% with perfect use.
Although there are many different types of birth control pills, they can all be categorized into one of two main types:
In addition to preventing pregnancy, hormonal birth control pills can also help to regulate menstrual cycles, reduce the severity of menstrual cramps and flow, and decrease the severity of premenstrual symptoms (PMS).
Besides birth control pills, other forms of hormonal contraception include:
Hormones impact the body in many different ways, including:
Your hormone levels are altered whenever you take a hormonal medication, such as birth control pills. As a result, some of these impacts can be altered as well.
For instance, when starting birth control, many women experience changes to their appetite and/or sleep schedule. Since both appetite and sleep cycles can impact a person’s body weight, this can change the person’s weight.
This weight change's longevity depends on how long the person experiences birth-control-related side effects and their own lifestyle habits.
Although temporary weight gain is sometimes seen as a starting side effect of birth control pills, there is no clear link between the use of birth control and weight gain. The same goes for fluid retention — there is limited meaningful evidence to prove that birth control causes increased fluid retention directly.
However, some researchers have hypothesized that birth control pills could result in weight gain if they indirectly lead to fluid retention and increased body fat.
Overall, the research regarding birth control and weight gain is limited and existing studies have not found conclusive evidence suggesting a relationship between hormonal contraception and weight gain.
So, back to the question, does birth control increase breast size?
Directly, no, birth control does not increase breast size. Due to the fat stores in your breasts, however, a change in breast size may occur due to weight gain from changes in appetite or the function of your metabolism.
Extreme weight gain is not an average side effect of birth control pills and should be discussed with your healthcare practitioner if it occurs.
Although birth control pills are generally considered safe, taking them solely to increase your breast size may produce highly varied results. In turn, using birth control to increase your breast size is not recommended.
Moreover, certain risk factors may limit your compatibility with estrogen-containing birth control pills. As such, you should openly and honestly discuss your health and lifestyle with a healthcare practitioner before beginning birth control.
If you are not compatible with hormonal birth control pills or do not want to use hormonal birth control, several non-hormonal contraception options are available to you.
Although specific side effects of birth control pills can indirectly lead to weight gain — and thereby, an increase in breast size — enlargement of the breasts is not considered an average side effect of birth control.
If you begin a birth control prescription and experience a noticeable change in breast size or lumps in your breasts, contact your healthcare practitioner immediately. Women who currently have or have a history of breast cancer should not take estrogen-containing birth control.
Get started with Felix today to discuss your birth control options in Canada.
The views expressed here are those of the author and, as with the rest of the content on Health Guide, are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare practitioner.