(HealthDay News) – For new contraceptive users, perceived weight gain, reported by about one-third of users, often represents actual weight gain, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Ashley M. Nault, from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues analyzed self-reported weight change data from 4,133 new contraceptive method users at three, six, and 12 months after enrollment. To assess the validity of self-reported weight gain, data were examined for a subgroup of participants with objective weight measurements at baseline and 12 months.
The researchers found that weight gain was perceived by 34% of participants. Implant users and depot medroxyprogesterone acetate users were more likely to report perceived weight gain than copper intrauterine device users (relative risk, 1.29 and 1.37, respectively). There was a mean actual weight gain of 10.3 pounds in women who perceived weight gain. The sensitivity of perceived weight gain was 74.6% and the specificity was 84.4%.
“In conclusion, self-reported weight change is easy to obtain and in most women represents true weight gain,” the authors write. “The perception of weight gain is clinically important because it may affect a woman’s satisfaction with her contraceptive method or influence a woman’s decision to continue the use of the method.”
Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.