Can Birth Control Cause Depression?

While responsible family planning is certainly an important issue, oral birth control pills have a dark side. These contraceptives function by affecting hormonal levels within the female body, namely estrogen and progesterone.

As every woman’s body is different, each individual reacts to these types of medications in a different way. As these meds affect the hormones, some women experience mood swings and changes in behavior. One common side effect associated with birth control pills is depression.

It must be noted that oral contraceptives are not scientifically linked to causing depression. However, depending on a woman’s individual composition, depression could be one of the outcomes of this hormonal medication. Other hormone-based forms of birth control, such as some IUDs, the shot and the ring may also have mood-altering effects.

If a woman already experiences symptoms of depression or another mood imbalance before starting on the pill or another form of hormonal birth control, it can in some cases make the symptoms better – but in other cases, worse.

Since more modern birth control pills have less concentrations of hormones, they may be less impactful on the mood than older varieties. Still, hormonal contraceptives are not without risk.

Taking pillsAs we reported previously, some types of birth control pills – namely those with high and moderate estrogen doses, as well as those with an average of 0.75 milligrams of norethindrone – have been linked to a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Certain types of birth control pills have also been linked to a higher risk of hypertension.

It is, of course, important to find a birth control method that works for you and your needs. However, the risks associated with hormonal varieties may not be worth it. There are many non-hormonal forms of birth control available on the market.

Talk to your doctor about which of these non-hormonal options may work best for you, so that you can rest easy knowing your birth control needs are met, without the risk of depression – or worse.

-The Alternative Daily


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