Can Fat Burners & Weight Loss Pills Affect Birth Control?

Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD
Published by Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD | Medical Doctor
Last updated: November 23, 2023
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What I've noticed as a medical doctor is that when it comes to health, women tend to focus on exercise and diet while neglecting other factors like birth control pills, supplements, and how the combination of the two affects the body.

So, let's see if and how fat burners affect contraceptives.

Quick Summary

  • There's little evidence showing that weight loss pills affect birth control.
  • Theoretically, increasing metabolism, elevating androgen, and triggering dehydration might affect the effectiveness of birth control pills, however, no scientific or anecdotal evidence has proven this.
  • Studies published in the National Journal of Medicine show that taking estrogen in high dosages can lead to weight gain and water retention
  • As a medical professional, I advise caution and recommend consulting a doctor before combining fat burners with hormonal contraceptives, given the potential risks and lack of definitive research.

Can Diet Pills Affect Birth Control?

There's little scientific evidence to show that diet pills affect birth control. However, it's advisable to consult your doctor first before combining them.

While this is the case, as a medical doctor, I'm always careful where hormonal contraceptives and fat burners that contain ingredients such as caffeine, Hydroxycut, and androgen boosting Ingredients like DHEA are concerned.

Here's why.

How Some Diet Pills Might Affect Birth Control

woman raising her thumbs up and down

First, let me start by saying that these are only theories without conclusive evidence. That said, there's a need for more studies on this subject. Here are a few reasons why some diet pills might affect birth control.

Increased Metabolism

An enhanced metabolism means that your body processes drugs and supplements faster than usual.

This means that weight loss supplements that contain ingredients like caffeine and synephrine could potentially diminish the efficacy of specific medications when taken concurrently, as they accelerate metabolic clearance.

As a caution, I always advise my patients to avoid fat burners that are high in caffeine.

Androgen Enhancing Components

Some fat burners contain androgen-boosting components such as DHEA. As per WebMD,  the presence of DHEA could lead to heightened levels of estrogen [1].

 DHEA supplements can increase the levels of Estrogen - Melinda Ratini, MD

Elevating hormones that are already suppressed by oral contraceptive pills could potentially reduce the effectiveness of birth control and increase the risk of unintended pregnancy.

It's another area that I like to be cautious about when recommending fat burners and hormonal contraceptives.


Given the controversies, as shown by Medical News Today, that led to the recall of Hydroxycut products by the FDA, I always advise against taking them in general [2].

Now, when it comes to using it alongside birth control pills, particularly oral contraceptives, there's a risk of dehydration. The thing with dehydration is that it compromises the effectiveness of oral contraceptive pills, ultimately diminishing their efficacy.

As a medical doctor, I recommend using barrier contraceptive methods like condoms just to be 100% sure.

How Birth Control Pills Work

close up image of a person placing a pill inside her mouth

Almost all hormonal contraceptives work in the same way (for the most part). No matter if you're taking a pill that contains only progestin or a pill that includes a combination of progestin and estrogen, all birth control contains human-made hormones.

The main reason for taking birth control is to prevent pregnancy, so your organs react accordingly to the content of the pill. Either your ovaries stop ovulating, or your uterus becomes unfit to implant the egg.

Estrogen Pills

The estrogen-based pill works in two ways. First, it prevents your ovaries from ovulating, which means they won’t release an egg each month. Second, this type of birth control causes your reproductive system to thicken your cervical mucus.

One of the side effects of this birth control that I've seen with some of my patients, especially those who are not physically active is fat gain. Studies published in the National Journal of Medicine have discovered that taking estrogen in high dosages can potentially lead to weight gain and water retention [3].

Progestin Pills

Progestin-based pills work similarly. They also thicken your cervical mucus, but they thin your endometrium — the lining of the uterus where the egg implants after it's fertilized.

Always talk to your doctor and ask him about the particular birth control and fat burners or diet pills you're taking or are about to start taking.

Also, be sure to take only FDA-approved supplements, as those without certification can have harmful ingredients not listed on the packaging that might affect the effectiveness of hormonal birth control methods.


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