Expired Birth Control safe to take? - VeggieBoards - A Vegetarian Community
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#1 Old 10-03-2010, 10:16 AM
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I have expired birth control pills, a few different ones, and I was wondering if they would be okay to take. They would not be used as a form of birth control, but to try and regulate hormones. I know that you shouldn't take expired birth control if you're sexually active because it can lose its effectiveness, but what about for hormone regulation? This is more out of curiosity than anything (they're dated 2008, so they would have expired probably in 2009). I have some for 2006, those are going on the trash right now (). Thanks

And in general, what makes medication expire?
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#2 Old 10-03-2010, 10:41 AM
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I'd say don't risk it. Expired meds are not a good idea.

I also wouldn't throw them in the bin; take them to a pharmacy and see if they can dispose of them safely.
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#3 Old 10-03-2010, 11:16 AM
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The 2006 and 2008 should both be fine, and you wouldn't be "risking" anything for your purpose, but regardless do not throw meds into the trash but give them to a pharmacy or someplace they can be properly disposed of. Also, in my experience the pharmacy often automatically stamps a date one year after filling the prescription to be the "expiration date," which is obviously quite random to use as an "expiration" date.

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...It turns out that the expiration date on a drug does stand for something, but probably not what you think it does. Since a law was passed in 1979, drug manufacturers are required to stamp an expiration date on their products. This is the date at which the manufacturer can still guarantee the full potency and safety of the drug.

Most of what is known about drug expiration dates comes from a study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration at the request of the military. With a large and expensive stockpile of drugs, the military faced tossing out and replacing its drugs every few years. What they found from the study is 90% of more than 100 drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, were perfectly good to use even 15 years after the expiration date.

So the expiration date doesn't really indicate a point at which the medication is no longer effective or has become unsafe to use. Medical authorities state expired drugs are safe to take, even those that expired years ago. A rare exception to this may be tetracycline, but the report on this is controversial among researchers. It's true the effectiveness of a drug may decrease over time, but much of the original potency still remains even a decade after the expiration date. Excluding nitroglycerin, insulin, and liquid antibiotics, most medications are as long-lasting as the ones tested by the military. Placing a medication in a cool place, such as a refrigerator, will help a drug remain potent for many years...

http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/up...ate1103a.shtml

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#4 Old 10-03-2010, 11:16 AM
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No, I wouldn't risk it either.

But if you're thinking of doing so, I would say it'd be a really good idea to speak to your doctor or someone who actually knows what they're talking about, haha.

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#5 Old 10-03-2010, 11:24 AM
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Honestly, just put in "medication expiration dates" into google and read what you find there before listening to the folk wisdom here about how "risky" taking a 1 or even 3 year expired bc pill for your cramps would be.

It's NOT "risky" for you to take those pills unless there's something clearly wrong with them.

http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts....ert_677-1.html

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/460159

Wait - you're not even going by the manufacturer's "expiration date" if I understand your post. You're just figuring one year from the fill date at the pharmacy is an "expiration date?" That's a very random date and the actual "expiration date" stamped on the bulk pills at the pharmacy is likely a lot farther out than one year from when you bought them. It's not like they got them in on the day that you bought them.

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#6 Old 10-03-2010, 11:46 AM
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I read some studies about the military testing drugs that had been in warehouses for decades and the effacacy of the drugs had not decreased by much. I don't believe there is HARM in taking expired meds, they just might be less effective than when they were newer. However, I wouldn't go about trying to solve hormonal imbalances unless I was under the care of a physician. They could be a symptom of something else, or BC may not be the right treatment.

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#7 Old 10-03-2010, 02:32 PM
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Thank for all of the info!

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Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

Wait - you're not even going by the manufacturer's "expiration date" if I understand your post. You're just figuring one year from the fill date at the pharmacy is an "expiration date?" That's a very random date and the actual "expiration date" stamped on the bulk pills at the pharmacy is likely a lot farther out than one year from when you bought them. It's not like they got them in on the day that you bought them.

I have one prescription that was filled in april of 07, it says to discard after 9/08. 15 months seems to be the time frame they give you, another box says the same thing. I have Seasonique and it has 2/08 printed on the back, but it doesn't say if it's a manufacture date or "expiration."

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I read some studies about the military testing drugs that had been in warehouses for decades and the effacacy of the drugs had not decreased by much. I don't believe there is HARM in taking expired meds, they just might be less effective than when they were newer. However, I wouldn't go about trying to solve hormonal imbalances unless I was under the care of a physician. They could be a symptom of something else, or BC may not be the right treatment.

I gained 10 pounds after stopping the Pill, I want to see if getting back on aids me in my weight loss. It would only be for about 2-3 months max. I got blood work before my insurance ran out (what they checked was normal) and I spoke with 2 doctors about this issue, they didn't seem concerned.
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#8 Old 10-03-2010, 02:44 PM
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Taking different kinds of bcp sounds like a recipe for disaster. Not to mention that you've detailed numerous times your rough experiences on the Pill. This sounds like an idea from which you should run very far away!

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#9 Old 10-03-2010, 03:00 PM
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But I need to lose weight I was thinking about taking only Seasonique (I have 2 full months left). As far I know, I didn't have any side effects from it, but I took it after LoEstrin 24, which altered my body. It would only be for 2 months and if it went well, I would try one of the others. I tossed my "bad" pills, the ones that gave me the bad side effects. My cramps have been killer lately too, I need to get those under control before I go back to work.
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#10 Old 10-03-2010, 08:00 PM
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NEED? or want? you're not a professional wrestler, jockey, or candidate for some kinda vital medical experiment for skinny minnies only, are you?

the whole thing sounds like a crazy idea to me. the likeliness of horrible death (which i'd guestimate at marginal) aside, i have no way of telling how much the hormones may or may not have lost complete efficiency and what kinda random wonkiness might ensue because of that, or what they'd do to my hormone levels (which i don't know much about, having not seen a doctor recently about them) even if they were still 110% good.

also, taking the pill for two months to lose weight? pffffff. not a hugely bright idea. there are better ways to lose weight and keep it off, i'm sure, the pill might well make you gain weight (or at least mass) in some areas, and 60 days isn't exactly a decent timeframe for anything hormonal to get settled into a stable pattern (understatement of the year). even if you do lose the 10 lb, if it'd only be for 2-3 months- with you coming off them again- so odds are you'll get that 10lb back *counts* just in time for xmas and newyears parties!...?

you've reported numerous other prior ****ty experiences with chopping and changing versions of the pill- so don't put yourself through another messy dabbling experience that'll probably have hormonal consequences outlasting 2 months (wrt your periods getting fiddled with and your body not really being sure what the hell is going on), in the hope of shrinking your arse a bit. i'm sure its really not that huge anyway, nor that it matters very much really in the general scheme of things, even if it is halfway as humungous as mine is.

i'd be more inclined to get some decent painkillers (i like the codeine based ones myself- cos even if it does still hurt, i seem to care much less about it after a couple of those) for the cramps (also, those only mess with your body chemistry for the few days you take them on, really) and buy some of those huge bondagey knickers that pull everything in and squish it flat so you look thinner- or just stick my fingers up at anyone who judged me on the size of my derrierre and spend the knicker money on cake.
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#11 Old 10-03-2010, 08:11 PM
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Need.

I tried all of the other ways of losing weight: regular exercise (5 days a week for over a month), cutting my calories, eating better foods... no results whatsoever. Not even 1/2 an inch off my body. I tried eating less calories, I tried eating more calories (than the SparkPeople site gave me), I started eating more frequently, etc. I gained 10 pounds within a month of stopping the pill, I'm pretty sure it's the reason (I've never gained a single pound while on The Pill, no matter which formula). This is more of an experiment than anything else. It's not my arse that needs to shrink, it's my hips, thighs, and arms. If my butt shrinks anymore, I won't be able to sit

Should I try liposuction instead?
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#12 Old 10-04-2010, 12:12 AM
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you could try mentally embracing your more voluptuous physique? ten pounds is nothing. if it wants to stay, maybe your weight wasn't right before?
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#13 Old 10-04-2010, 12:45 AM
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Heather, have you discussed with a doctor your failed efforts to lose weight? Have you started a journal of all your efforts to lose weight so you have a very clear idea of what works and what doesn't?

Have you had your thyroid checked lately? An imbalance in thyroid hormone can cause weight fluctuations which don't always respond to weight loss efforts. I know from personal experience.

I would talk to a doctor about your weight gain and your desire to lose it again. Perhaps he/she has ideas you haven't thought of. Don't be shy in telling the doctor about your veg*an diet, and if the doctor reacts like you just sprouted a second head, stand your ground. Perhaps bringing in some nutritional into backing up your diet to your office visit would help.

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#14 Old 10-04-2010, 07:06 AM
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I tried all of the other ways of losing weight: regular exercise (5 days a week for over a month), cutting my calories, eating better foods... no results whatsoever. Not even 1/2 an inch off my body.

You have to exercise for more than a month to get results. It's a life-time commitment unfortunately.

Most women refuse to believe this but BC pills do not make you gain weight. At least there have been no scientific studies to date that show that they do. But the esotrogen they contain can make you retain water which feels like weight gain. BC pills can stimulate your appetite though, so there is the potential to start eating more and if you don't exercise, this will increase your weight. But that also just a potential side-effect, it doesn't happen to every women who takes it particularly with low-dose estrogen pills.

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#15 Old 10-04-2010, 07:30 AM
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you could try mentally embracing your more voluptuous physique? ten pounds is nothing. if it wants to stay, maybe your weight wasn't right before?

Nah I want to be FIT, not skinny, and my body is fighting against me.

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Heather, have you discussed with a doctor your failed efforts to lose weight? Have you started a journal of all your efforts to lose weight so you have a very clear idea of what works and what doesn't?

Have you had your thyroid checked lately? An imbalance in thyroid hormone can cause weight fluctuations which don't always respond to weight loss efforts. I know from personal experience.

I would talk to a doctor about your weight gain and your desire to lose it again. Perhaps he/she has ideas you haven't thought of. Don't be shy in telling the doctor about your veg*an diet, and if the doctor reacts like you just sprouted a second head, stand your ground. Perhaps bringing in some nutritional into backing up your diet to your office visit would help.

My doctor didn't seem concerned and I tracked all of my food on SparkPeople with no results.

I had my thyroid checked last year and it was normal. That was one of the things my doctor wanted to check because of the weight loss issue.
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#16 Old 10-04-2010, 07:39 AM
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You have to exercise for more than a month to get results. It's a life-time commitment unfortunately.

Most women refuse to believe this but BC pills do not make you gain weight. At least there have been no scientific studies to date that show that they do. But the esotrogen they contain can make you retain water which feels like weight gain. BC pills can stimulate your appetite though, so there is the potential to start eating more and if you don't exercise, this will increase your weight. But that also just a potential side-effect, it doesn't happen to every women who takes it particularly with low-dose estrogen pills.

But after 5-6 weeks, I should see SOME results, whether it be half an inch lost or half a pound. Something. Anything.

I've talked to other women who experienced the same thing (weight gain after stopping The Pill, not starting). What we believe is that it's hormone related. I've read that low estrogen levels can cause weight gain. Here's one article. Another. I think being on the pill altered how my body worked, how it produced hormones. I've also read in articles published online that the reason some people can't lose weight is because of hormone imbalances. When I got bloodwork, the doctor said he couldn't check my estrogen, so I have no idea what that level is doing.
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#17 Old 10-04-2010, 08:59 AM
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your birth control pills are probably fine to take despite the expiration dates, there really isn't anything harmful in these pills (like you can't overdose on them etc...) and they are most likely derived from synthetic sources made with shelf stability in mind. especially since you are not having sex and using them to prevent pregnancy and just for a hormone boost. The seasonique is probably better to use since it has more days, I wouldn't suggest using both brands because that can cause side effects (like weight GAIN!!) spotting, worse cramps and other things (i had horrible mood swings when I tried to switch brands).

Please check out planned parenthood, I linked the site in another thread to you. You can get a check up and new birth control Rx for no charge depending on your current income. I was really apprehensive before I went because I had no way of paying and was reassured over the phone and when I checked in that I can get help from programs that cover services for low/no income people.
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#18 Old 10-04-2010, 09:49 AM
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Heather, have you discussed with a doctor your failed efforts to lose weight? Have you started a journal of all your efforts to lose weight so you have a very clear idea of what works and what doesn't?

Have you had your thyroid checked lately? An imbalance in thyroid hormone can cause weight fluctuations which don't always respond to weight loss efforts. I know from personal experience.

I would talk to a doctor about your weight gain and your desire to lose it again. Perhaps he/she has ideas you haven't thought of. Don't be shy in telling the doctor about your veg*an diet, and if the doctor reacts like you just sprouted a second head, stand your ground. Perhaps bringing in some nutritional into backing up your diet to your office visit would help.

This.

Also, have any of your docs investigated for things like PCOS/insulin resistance?

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#19 Old 10-04-2010, 02:38 PM
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your birth control pills are probably fine to take despite the expiration dates, there really isn't anything harmful in these pills (like you can't overdose on them etc...) and they are most likely derived from synthetic sources made with shelf stability in mind. especially since you are not having sex and using them to prevent pregnancy and just for a hormone boost. The seasonique is probably better to use since it has more days, I wouldn't suggest using both brands because that can cause side effects (like weight GAIN!!) spotting, worse cramps and other things (i had horrible mood swings when I tried to switch brands).

Please check out planned parenthood, I linked the site in another thread to you. You can get a check up and new birth control Rx for no charge depending on your current income. I was really apprehensive before I went because I had no way of paying and was reassured over the phone and when I checked in that I can get help from programs that cover services for low/no income people.

When I was in Florida, we didn't have a PP, but there's one around here I'll make an appointment soon. Thanks!

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Also, have any of your docs investigated for things like PCOS/insulin resistance?

I can rule out PCOS because the main symptoms are: irregular, few, or absent menstrual periods (don't have), lack of ovulation (I ovulate every month, like clockwork), and Hirsutism. Found that on Wiki, on this site, it lists more symptoms that don't fit me. Insulin resistance... maybe. My GP didn't seem to be worried about my weight gain/lack of weight loss issue, probably because I was still in the normal range.
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#20 Old 10-04-2010, 04:59 PM
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fitness is about stamina tho...

and why couldn't he test your flipping estrogen levels? they do have tests....
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#21 Old 10-04-2010, 05:03 PM
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I know, but I wanna look similar to this:





Tight abs, definition in my thighs, toned arms. I understand that photo is airbrushed, but I've seen women look like this IRL. I don't want a 6 pack, just a flat stomach.


I have no idea why he couldn't test, maybe it was an insurance thing. He didn't go into detail.
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#22 Old 10-04-2010, 05:05 PM
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http://www.kcfitnesslink.com/images/Yoga-Pilates.jpg


Or like this. I'm going to start doing more Yoga and Pilates soon. (Didn't embed it because it's huge)
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#23 Old 10-04-2010, 05:19 PM
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that looks like muscle tone stuff more than weight-related stuff to me. sit ups! squats! urgh!
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#24 Old 10-04-2010, 05:22 PM
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that looks like muscle tone stuff more than weight-related stuff to me. sit ups! squats! urgh!

Jillian Michaels was kicking my butt 5 days a week for 30 minutes each time. HARD stuff too, to where I would have sweat running down my back. If my body won't burn fat, I can't get that definition. Will someone please tell me body to burn fat? kthanx.
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#25 Old 10-04-2010, 05:30 PM
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The 2006 and 2008 should both be fine, and you wouldn't be "risking" anything for your purpose, but regardless do not throw meds into the trash but give them to a pharmacy or someplace they can be properly disposed of. Also, in my experience the pharmacy often automatically stamps a date one year after filling the prescription to be the "expiration date," which is obviously quite random to use as an "expiration" date.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/up...ate1103a.shtml

Wow, very interesting, thanks for sharing! I've used expired meds, just like cold/headache stuff before, with no problems. Just thought maybe it was less effective, but this is great to know - 10 - 15 years!

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Honestly, just put in "medication expiration dates" into google and read what you find there before listening to the folk wisdom here about how "risky" taking a 1 or even 3 year expired bc pill for your cramps would be.

It's NOT "risky" for you to take those pills unless there's something clearly wrong with them.

http://www.johnshopkinshealthalerts....ert_677-1.html

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/460159

Wait - you're not even going by the manufacturer's "expiration date" if I understand your post. You're just figuring one year from the fill date at the pharmacy is an "expiration date?" That's a very random date and the actual "expiration date" stamped on the bulk pills at the pharmacy is likely a lot farther out than one year from when you bought them. It's not like they got them in on the day that you bought them.

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#26 Old 10-05-2010, 07:19 AM
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I know, but I wanna look similar to this:

[/img]


Tight abs, definition in my thighs, toned arms. I don't want a 6 pack, just a flat stomach.


.

If this is your goal, you need to modify your diet and exercise at least 5 days a week with resistance. The key that most people don't realize is percent body fat, you can be the same size as this model and not look anything like her because she obviously has very low percent body fat. It is kinda difficult to know the exact percent without an expensive test, but you can get a general idea from a personal trainer or the like. up the veggies, totally eliminate unhealthy fats and alcohol, work out hard
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#27 Old 10-05-2010, 08:35 AM
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If this is your goal, you need to modify your diet and exercise at least 5 days a week with resistance. The key that most people don't realize is percent body fat, you can be the same size as this model and not look anything like her because she obviously has very low percent body fat. It is kinda difficult to know the exact percent without an expensive test, but you can get a general idea from a personal trainer or the like. up the veggies, totally eliminate unhealthy fats and alcohol, work out hard

I did. I was a workout/dieting machine during most of July and all of August (until the breakup). My muscles got tighter, but I could not believe that my body hadn't shrunk at all. My arms are still flabby, my hips are still too big for my jeans, and my thighs laugh at me every time I measured them. The fact that I couldn't lose weight when I was dieting alone makes me suspect there's another problem that's stalling my progress. I wish liposuction wasn't so painful and expensive, I know someone who is willing to take about 10 pounds of my fat
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#28 Old 10-05-2010, 08:48 AM
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Dr. Oz's whole show yesterday was about how to get free medical care, free clinics, etc.
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#29 Old 10-05-2010, 10:24 AM
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Darn, wish I had seen it!
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#30 Old 10-05-2010, 10:59 AM
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Some of us, myself included, just don't have bodies like that. Womens bodies in general aren't designed to be chiseled, and women who have bodies like that certainly are exercising for more than 30 minutes a day. We are meant to have a higher percentage of body fat than men... stuff to do with hormones and reproduction. Even friends I have who are naturally thin, don't have muscle definition. I think it can be a lifelong task to learn to love your body, I know I'm still working on it. I try to hold value in taking good care of myself, and being healthy being better than being buff.

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