Birth Control Pills Linked to Depression

April AlvarezOct 07, 2016

With the patch, anti-depressant use doubled. The relative risks generally decreased with increasing age.

"I wouldn't go on it again even if someone paid me", says 23-year-old health worker Sarah, who suffered deep vein thrombosis while taking Microgynon and then experienced depression and suicidal thoughts on the progesterone-only pill (mini-pill). Experts made use of the social security number of those ladies, tracking both contraceptives prescriptions and depression diagnosis.

"Because hormonal contraception introduces synthetic hormones and modulates the internal hormone production, an examination of the influence of hormonal contraceptives on women's mood is warranted", write the researchers, led by Charlotte Wessel Skovlund a faculty member in the Department of Gynaecology at the University of Copenhagen.

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The study further stated that teenage girls who use progestin-only pills were twice as likely to also take some antidepressants compared to young women who do not use these birth control pills.

"With having a million women, there are 101 things that are variable here", Diana Mansour, vice president for clinical quality at the Faculty for Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare in London, told Metro UK. "It's up to the patient and their ob-gyn to decide which method of birth control is right for their lifestyle and well-being".

"I don't know if it's getting any worse but I think people are way more aware of it now so we're making a lot more attempts to help people", Ruter said.

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By that, I mean that the take home message is that women using hormonal contraception are more likely to have depression, but with the level of evidence presented in the study, one can not conclude that the depression is caused as a direct result of the use of hormones.

And, he said, it's important to note that not all women who use contraceptives are necessarily sexually active - some take birth control to manage acne, regulate periods and even prevent mood swings.

Lidegaard said copper IUDs weren't tracked in the study because they are free over the counter in Denmark, meaning that they are not tracked in the country's database. The article [did not] specifically [address] PMDD and continuous use, or on the type of progestin used (which matters a lot). Besides this, the females who face the nasty mental health symptoms on the pill tend to discontinue taking them. None of the women in question had a previous history of depression before being prescribed the pill. Again, there's dozens of factors at play there.

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