Short-term effects of a progestational contraceptive drug on food intake, resting energy expenditure, and body weight in young women

Christine L. Pelkman, Mosuk Chow, Robert A. Heinbach, Barbara J. Rolls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Background: Studies showed that hormonal fluctuations that occur over the human menstrual cycle affect energy intake and expenditure. However, little is known about the possible effects on body weight regulation that may arise when these cyclic changes are suppressed with hormonal contraceptives. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine how a progestational contraceptive drug (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate) affects food intake, resting energy expenditure (REE), and body weight in young women. Design: Twenty normal-weight women were tested in a single-blind, placebo-controlled experiment. Body weight, REE, and 3-d food intake (food provided) were measured in the follicular and luteal phases of 2 menstrual cycles before a single injection of depot medroxyprogesterone or saline solution was administered. Measurements were also taken 4 times after injection: in the luteal and follicular phases of 2 cycles in the placebo group and 2 wk apart (to mimic timing of the menstrual phases) in the drug group. Results: Before injection, the phase of the menstrual cycle affected both energy intake and REE. The study participants consumed more energy (4.3%; P = 0.02) and expended more energy at rest (4.3%; P = 0.0002) in the luteal phase than in the follicular phase. Comparison of pre- and postinjection means showed that treatment with the contraceptive drug had no significant effects on energy intake, REE, or body weight. Conclusions: This study showed that, although phases of the menstrual cycle affected energy intake and REE, depot medroxyprogesterone acetate did not alter energy intake or expenditure or cause weight gain in young women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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