Validity of perceived weight gain in women using long-acting reversible contraception and depot medroxyprogesterone acetate

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Jan;208(1):48.e1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2012.10.876. Epub 2012 Oct 24.


Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate perceived weight gain in women using contraception and determine the validity of self-reported weight gain.

Study design: We analyzed data from new contraceptive method users who self-reported a weight change at 3, 6, and 12 months after enrollment. We examined a subgroup of participants with objective weight measurements at baseline and 12 months to test the validity of self-reported weight gain.

Results: Thirty-four percent of participants (1407 of 4133) perceived weight gain. Compared with copper intrauterine device users, implant users (relative risk, 1.29; 95% confidence interval, 1.10-1.51) and depot medroxyprogesterone acetate users (relative risk, 1.37; 95% confidence interval, 1.14-1.64) were more likely to report perceived weight gain. Women who perceived weight gain experienced a mean weight gain of 10.3 pounds. The sensitivity and specificity of perceived weight gain were 74.6% and 84.4%, respectively.

Conclusion: In most women, perceived weight gain represents true weight gain. Implant and depot medroxyprogesterone acetate users are more likely to perceive weight gain among contraception users.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight / drug effects*
  • Contraceptive Agents, Female / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices / adverse effects*
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / adverse effects*
  • Self Concept
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*


  • Contraceptive Agents, Female
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate