STD Home > Generess Fe and Weight Gain

Research has shown that birth control pills, including Generess Fe, are not likely to cause weight gain. Women taking birth control pills may gain weight, but it is more likely that it is caused by a poor diet, inactivity, and other factors, rather than the pill itself. Eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising, and limiting alcohol can help you control your weight.

Does Generess Fe Cause Weight Gain?

Generess™ Fe (norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol) is a prescription birth control pill. Based on current research, weight gain is probably not a true side effect of birth control pills, contrary to common belief.
In studies, up to 2.3 percent of women reported weight gain with Generess Fe. However, these studies did not compare Generess Fe to a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain active ingredients), so it is difficult to know if this is a true side effect of the contraceptive.

Weight Gain and "The Pill"

It is commonly believed that birth control pills cause weight gain. Many women stop taking birth control pills because they believe their weight gain is due to the contraceptive. However, recent studies indicate that birth control pills probably do not cause weight gain for most women.
Although women taking birth control pills sometimes gain weight, it appears that this weight gain is probably not caused by birth control pills. In studies, there were no significant differences in weight gain between women who took birth control pills and those who did not. While it may be easy to blame weight gain on birth control pills, the real causes of this weight gain are more likely due to poor diet, inactivity, and other factors.

Suggestions for Controlling Your Weight

If you are noticing unexplained and undesired weight gain while taking Generess Fe, there are a few things that you can do to get your weight back under control. Some suggestions include:
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet, which should include:
    • Lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
    • Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
    • Limited amounts of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars.
  • Exercising at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week. Try to find something you enjoy, as you will be more likely to keep it up.
  • Limiting your intake of alcohol and "empty" calories, such as sugary sodas, candy, or junk food.
Remember that quick fixes, such as weight loss pills, are usually not the answer. The best weight loss plans aim for moderate, steady weight loss though diet and exercise.
Also, if you are noticing weight gain while taking Generess Fe, talk to your healthcare provider. He or she can give you other suggestions for controlling weight gain. He or she may also look for other causes of weight gain, such as certain types of medical conditions. If the weight gain continues, he or she may also recommend other lifestyle changes or possibly switching to another method of birth control.
(Click BMI Calculator to see if your weight is within a healthy range.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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