Offbeat

By Lucy Notarantonio


A law graduate has undergone gastric sleeve surgery in a bid to lose weight after claiming her contraception injection caused a seven stone weight gain.

Brittany Nicholson, 25 – who suffers from polycystic ovarian syndrome [PCOS] – decided to start having contraception injected every three months as it was proven to help stop her painful periods and ovarian cysts.

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But from the age of 16, Brittany continued to gain weight despite dieting and frequently visiting the gym.

As a last resort, Brittany, from Indiana, US, opted to have a gastric sleeve last year [September 2018] and has since lost seven stone [100lbs].

Brittany, who is now working as a law intern, said: “At the age of 16 I had started to experience symptoms of polycystic ovaries.

“I went to the doctors due to the stomach pain and an ultrasound found cysts on my ovaries and from there I was diagnosed.

“The cysts had taken over and I was put on birth control to stop the cysts growing any further.

“But the weight piled on, I was 11 stone when I was 16 and then 20 stone by the time I was 23.

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“Everyone is different, and some people may not have gained weight on this medication whilst others might have but were able to control it by dieting and exercising.

“I was working out four times a week from the age of 16 and I had a personal trainer, but I was still overweight.

“I didn’t binge eat, I didn’t over indulge, I didn’t have a problem with dieting, I just couldn’t stop gaining weight.

“I was continuously researching PCOS and the type of birth control I was on to see if there had been any developments as I was desperate to get off the medication.”

Brittany put a lot of pressure on herself to lose weight as she was worried people would assume she was lazy.

She added: “As I got into my twenties, I realised I can’t do this alone, despite having a husband Matt, 28, who was so supportive and loved me no matter my weight, I knew something had to be done.

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“When I was 23, an ultrasound confirmed that the medication stopped the cysts from forming on my ovaries. I took that opportunity to get off of the treatment and see if that impacted my ability to lose the weight I gained while on it.

“I was able to lose a bit of weight on my own, but it wasn’t long before the cysts returned and my doctor recommend I get back on the treatment.

“I went back to the hospital and signed up for six-month programme – medically supervised weight loss – the last option was to get a gastric sleeve.”

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According to her doctors, the weight loss surgery was a ‘medical necessity’ therefore Brittany only had to pay £600 [$800] and Matt’s insurance covered the remanding £40,000 [$53,000].

She adds: “Since having surgery, I have lost seven stone and not only am I so much happier, but I am also motivated to continue my healthy lifestyle as the weight is finally coming off.

“Some days I do have difficulties with my weight loss. When I was obese, I didn’t even see it. Now I have to remind myself that I am no longer a size 20 by looking in the mirror. If I don’t remind myself I will walk around feeling trapped in a much larger body.”

“I love that I can now go into any shop and buy clothes as nowhere used to stock fashionable size 20 clothing, so I would often leave the store in tears.

“People will open the door for me or help me with my bags to the car whereas before I was invisible.”

To read more follow @sleevedbritt on Instagram.