How The Pill And Coil Affect Mood And Weight At Menopause

Many women at menopause use the contraceptive Pill or Coil to help control heavy bleeding. The synthetic hormones these contain are not the same as the natural hormones and have very different effects.


I often hear from women who tell me they are on progesterone from their Coil, Pill or mini-Pill and still having trouble losing weight.

If you check further you find they are not on bioidentical progesterone, as the only hormones in such devices are synthetic progestins which have very different actions from the natural hormone.

It is not advisable to use bioidentical progesterone if you have any of these products for contraception, unless you are also willing to take additional precautions, but many women at menopause do have Coil or the Pill to help with heavy bleeding.

Unfortunately, they are not getting natural progesterone as the Pill and coil contain synthetic progestins, not the natural hormone, and these do have their own side-effects including weight gain.

Bioidentical progesterone helps lose weight by dealing with both oestrogen dominance and water retention – and this is not case with the synthetic progestins.

Mood swings and the Pill

If you were worried about increased mood swings at menopause then, like weight gain, this is due to the oestrogen in the combined pill and the synthetic progestins in the coil.

This can make you more emotional because you are being given synthetic hormones at levels higher than the ones that occur naturally in the body.

If you are more prone to depression when you were put on either method, you are not alone as researchers have been studying the link for many years, with varying results.

Such states are very individual and although some studies have found lower levels of depression, others have found the reverse. In my opinion? It will depend on your sensitivity to the high levels of hormones and their composition.

What we do know is that progesterone can help elevate mood and in the USA Jeffrey Dach, MD – an expert in bioidentical hormones – recommends a combined cream of oestrogen and progesterone for depression and states of anxiety as a natural solution.

Side effects for the Pill can include a slightly increased risk of breast, cervical and liver cancer, as well as strokes, heart attack and blood clots. As well as mood swings, bleeding in between periods and headaches are other commonly seen side effects.

Weight gain and the coil

An IUD such as the Mirena coil, is very commonly given to women to help with heavy bleeding but its side effects are extensive including fluid retention – a common cause of weight gain – and breast tenderness. However, this is not the case with the non-hormonal copper coil.

Although not listed as a side effect, on consumer bulletin boards women raise the issue of weight gain when using a coil as a consequence they had not considered or been told about.

These reports are anecdotal but nonetheless real for that and certainly fluid retention and weight gain are helped by rebalancing with progesterone.

Helpful information: 

If you are suffering from hormonal side-effects, but you are using either the pill or coil for contraception, it is not recommended that you use progesterone unless you are willing to take additional precautions to prevent pregnancy.

This is because the synthetic progestins in the coil and pill compete for the same receptor site in the body as the bioidentical progesterone, and this makes both products less effective.

Hormone balance and good nutrition are key when dealing with Menopause symptoms, and if you would like some help with that then this article will be of interest,