Alesse, Seasonique, Portia and weight gain
Alesse, Seasonique and Portia are all combined pills which contain the same synthetic version of estrogen and progesterone — ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel respectively. Because each pill contains levonorgestrel, they are all second generation pills.
Second generation pills like Alesse, Seasonique and Portia are less likely to cause certain side effects including heavy bleeding, breast fullness, headaches, fluid retention, tiredness, irritability, nausea and bloating.
However, it’s worth remembering that all medications have the ability to cause side effects, including changes to weight and size.
Some women who take Portia do notice weight gain or changes to their appetite. There are currently no specific studies on Portia and weight gain.
Apri, Marvelon and weight gain
Apri and Marvelon both contain ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel. Desogestrel is a synthetic progesterone used in third generation pills. This means Apri and Marvelon were created to try and reduce certain side effects associated with second generation pills.
There are no specific studies on Apri and weight gain. Common side effects associated with Apri include tender breasts, discharge, reduced acne, headaches and vaginal dryness.
What about Marvelon and weight gain? Weight gain is listed as a side effect on the Marvelon patient information leaflet, but weight may also naturally fluctuate during the menstrual cycle. If you do experience uncomfortable side effects, discuss switching the pill with your doctor or prescriber.
Yaz, Yasmin and weight gain
Yaz and Yasmin are both combined oral contraceptive pills containing ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone. This makes them fourth generation pills. They’ll often be prescribed if you’ve tried other pills and have experienced side effects.
The Yaz pill and weight gain as a side effect have not been largely studied. Yasmin has the same active ingredients as Yaz and Yasmin has not been associated with weight gain.