Birth Control: The Countdown to Depression

Birth Control and depression pills on a table.

Birth control increases the risk of depression among women.

Recent research suggests that birth control pills might lead to depression as many women reported that after they stopped taking them, they felt much better. Scientists have come to the conclusion that women’s risk of depression has met a staggering increase over the last few years because many of them have become quite familiar with birth control pills.

1. Birth Control Statistics

The latest study published a few weeks ago reveals that hormonal contraception has severe consequences on women’s mental health. During the study, a team of Danish researchers has worked for six years with over 1 million teenage girls and women between 15 and 34 years old to discover the exact effects of birth control.

As it turned out, they learned that out of 55 percent of women who were relying on birth control, a large part of them had to be prescribed antidepressants as well.

It is worth mentioning that not all birth control pills have the same chemical composition, therefore scientists underlined that those containing both progestin and estrogen were more dangerous.

More precisely, the participants who used this type of hormonal contraception were 23 percent more likely to need antidepressants compared with the rest of the participants who weren’t using any form of birth control.

Worse, pills containing only progestin had a more severe impact on women as 34 percent of participants were more likely to resort to antidepressants, whereas antidepressant use among women using vaginal rings was as high as 60 percent.

Participants using patches were affected the most as 100 percent of them were prescribed antidepressants.

2. Solutions

It is worth mentioning that just 12.5 percent of the women involved in the study have actually started taking antidepressants while many of them who currently suffer from depression are not officially diagnosed because they do not report their symptoms.

That is why according to the clinical professor and lead author Øjvind Lidegaard, doctors should inform their patients about the risks of hormonal contraception, as they need to know what they are getting themselves into.

Most importantly, these specialists have to make sure that their patients, especially young women, are not showing signs of depression and they don’t have a history of depression. After science has agreed and presented these facts, women will hopefully think twice before taking birth control pills.

Image Source:WP Media

About Carol Harper

Carol Harper began her career as a screenwriter before turning to journalism. Before earning her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Creative Writing, Carol travelled across Europe and Asia to find both herself and inspiration. She enjoys covering health & science topics.