Birth Control in MMA: How Contraception Affects the Weight Cut

What’s the most uncomfortable thing to talk about (especially in professional sports)? Periods and birth control.

What’s the most uncomfortable part of fighting? The weight cut, without a doubt.

So I’m going to talk about both.

I have been asked, “How does your birth control affect your weight cut?”

Every woman is different and unique, and some people may remember when Cris Cyborg mentioned difficulties with her weight cut due to water retention from her birth control — I can only explain my situation.

I should start by saying that I’ve gotten off lucky in the period department. What I mean is that since I was young, 15 years old to be exact, I’ve never really had one. Don’t be alarmed; this is normal for women who play sports or workout intensely.

Trust me, I’ve checked.

I started wrestling in high school at about the same time that girls my age were getting their first periods. Because of my active lifestyle, I got to skip the monthly visit from “Aunt Flow.”

The lack of a week full of cramps, bloating, high emotions, and messy situations continue to be a perk.

When I got older, I decided to get on birth control. There are a plethora of contraceptives on the market, and women can easily find one that fits their lifestyle. I have chosen the IUD for the last five years of my life, due in part to being a professional athlete. It’s the least intrusive. If you’re not familiar with this method, I’d explain it as a tiny plastic device that is inserted into the women’s uterus that releases hormones which protect from pregnancy. There is no daily pill, no painful shot, no need to worry about it for 6-12 years depending on which type you choose. I have enough to worry about from day to day and don’t want my birth control to be one of those worries.

So how does my birth control affect my weight cut? Simple — it doesn’t. If it did, I’d probably try something else. I guess I’m lucky in this area, I don’t have a regular period, and my birth control doesn’t make my periods heavier or make me bloated or retain water monthly like most women. I don’t have to worry about what female athletes may have to go through.

The weight cut still sucks. I still get emotional and it’s still uncomfortable but I thank my lucky stars that my birth control and my period don’t add to that already stressful time.


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