Birth control caused weight gain? Don’t go back to your ED, but you do need to lose that weight.

Jasie writes:

I’m not sure if I should be amused or furious at the berating I got yesterday from the nurse while getting my birth control shot. Apparently they’re worried about weight gain, even though the ol’ blood pressure is WAY down and has been for awhile. When I explained to the nurse that the weight gain was because I was nolonger starving myself, the nurse responded with… “well of course I couldn’t ask you to return to an eating disorder, but something needs to be done. You’re 31 pounds heavier than the lowest weight you’ve been since we’ve been seeing you.” (for reference, I’ve been going to this same clinic since early 2006. So they were witness to my last serious bout with disordered eating, where I got down to a really low weight for me by starving myself and doing over an hour a day of cardio). So I repeated that at that time I was borderline starving myself and that my blood pressure was way higher at that lower weight. She double checked the chart and I was correct… but she kept pushing. I asked her point blank what the issue was. She told me that with the weight gain she’d recommend I use a different form of birth control that doesn’t slow down metabolism (the depo is probably responsible for about 5-10 lbs of the “weight gain”). I told her I was 100% happy with depo, even if it was responsible for a few extra pounds. I told her it’d made me gain 5-10 lbs in the past and it wasn’t a concern. I’d rather stay on that form of BC.

It was just so frustrating, how she feigned concern, but couldn’t tell me what she was concerned about except for the damn number on the scale. And she pretty much refused to acknowledge anything I said. I wish I’d been more collected and articulate, but I was just so completely confused by the ambush. Normally, after I get the shot, the nurse leads me out to the desk to make my next appointment, but this time they sent the 2nd nurse in just to “talk about the issue”… They caught me off guard and I’m sure I seemed defensive, but that’s what happens when you’re forced to defend yourself. Heh. She seemed determined to ignore that I’m in better health now, at the HIGHER weight (heaven forbid) than I was when I weighed less and had higher BP, was losing hair, was stressed beyond belief, etc.
– Jasie

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  1. Yikes!!!

    Write a letter. Sincerely. And refuse to be weighed there anymore.

  2. Fear of having this happen is why I refuse to be weighed by anyone except my nutritionist, and then it’s a blind weight, so that I don’t get triggered. Like you, I’m much healthier now that I’m at a higher weight than during my ED (for example, I’m menstruating again), but I’m paranoid every time that I go to the doctor that I’ll get a weight lecture. But refusing to be weighed comes with its own stresses. At my last gyn. visit, they asked if I knew how much I weighed, then tried to talk me into letting them do a blind weight…as if it were that simple that I could let someone I’d never met before weigh me! “But we need two vitals on you!” the nurse whined. I told her I just couldn’t, and then when my blood pressure came back normal she let it drop. (It was actually high for me, because I was so stressed out by the confrontation, so frankly, I’m impressed that you kept your cool as well as you did.)

    I just can’t believe that anyone would ever say, “of course, I couldn’t ask you to return to an eating disorder,” as if she would if it weren’t totally unethical. There’s no “but” in the world that could possibly follow that and not be wrong.

  3. Meems

     /  September 10, 2009

    How do these people not see how unethical and irrational their behavior is? “Oh, I wouldn’t as you to return to an eating disorder, but could you please return to your lowest eating disorder weight? You know, without starving yourself, of course.” Total logical disconnect.

  4. Piffle

     /  September 10, 2009

    *shakes head*

    They saw you and your health during the ED at the lower weight; and *still* gave you grief; that’s shocking. Hormonal BC wasn’t for me because of the mood swings, but it’s working for you like it should.


  5. Sarah

     /  September 12, 2009

    This is so much a part of the harm that fat=bad does. You are healthy now, and yet the medical people want you to become unhealthy because of prejudice rather than sound medical science. And why are they even looking at your lowest weight? That’s not logical. Healthy weight does not equal lowest weight ever. LOL my lowest weight ever was 8 lbs, should I be striving for that?

  6. oh, thanks for this. I just found this web page. I had a similar experience last month, except I didn’t stand up for myself. I’m really impressed that you didn’t just take it from them! Way to go! They’re not only morons, they’re seriously unethical. Thanks for saying something back.


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