June 25, 2009

Obese Women are the Most Likely to Become Pregnant

According to Reuters Health Information, a study posted in Diabetes Care has shown that contraceptive use among obese women in North America is only 33% for obese women (BMI 30+). Contraceptive use by this high-risk group is less than the contraceptive use by women without or obesity.

One possible reason for a low contraceptive use amongst obese women is the risks that are associated with birth control use for these groups. Contraceptive shots have been proven to be less effective on obese women due to thicker layers of fat tissue, and a recent study has found that Obese and overweight women have a 70% higher chance of becoming pregnant than women of normal BMI while using oral contraceptives.

A study says that 5 out of 100 overweight women became pregnant in one year while using oral contraceptives containing estrogen and progestin, and only 3 out of 100 women of normal weight became pregnant in one year. The supposed reason for these statistics is that the hormones in birth control pills are soluble in fat; therefore, the majority of the hormones taken by obese women will dissolve before entering the blood stream. In addition, blood clotting in obese women is more common than in women of normal weight, and taking birth control pills could increase risk.

Due to a decrease in efficiency of birth control pills and shots in obese women, many obese women do not use these common forms of contraceptive, and are therefore more likely to become pregnant.

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