Is It Easy To Use
Ease of use is definitely worth considering because it can impact your ability to take as directed for the best results.
For instance, if youre always on the go and busy AF, youd probably benefit from a method that you dont need to remember to take daily.
And since some options involve more than popping a pill, consider how comfortable you are with a method. Like, say, a birth control ring that you need to insert into your V or getting the shot if needles freak you out.
What Are Some Options For Non
For anyone looking to prevent pregnancy without taking hormonal contraceptives, youve got plenty of options:
- Condoms: When used correctly, condoms are 98% effective , but due to human error, condoms do have a 15% failure rate at preventing pregnancy.
- Copper IUD: If youre hoping for another one-and-done contraceptive, the non-hormonal copper IUD, or ParaGard, might be the best choice for you. Its the most effective form of birth control and can last for 10 years.
- Diaphragm or cervical cap: These two barrier methods can help prevent pregnancy when combined with spermicide . Like condoms, youll need to remember to insert a diaphragm or cap every time youre going to have sex. Diaphragms are 92%-96% effective, while cervical caps are only 71%-86% effective.
- Sponge: Another barrier method, the sponge is 88% effective at preventing pregnancy and must be used every time you have sex.
So, if youre ditching your pill or removing your patch, know that your body is likely to transition back to its before state over your next few cycles. And if youre not feeling great, enlist your primary care provider , OB-GYN, some ibuprofen, or a trusty heating pad for support.
How Can Pandia Health Help
Its now more convenient than ever before to try birth control. Dont forget to with Pandia Health to get your prescription delivered for free. We also write prescriptions for individuals who live in AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MI, NV, TX, TN, PA, WA, or WY! If you live in one of these states and need help deciding which birth control might be best for your lifestyle, you can set up an online consultation with one of our expert doctors. Join our community of empowered women and get that #PandiaPeaceOfMind knowing youll never run out of birth control on our watch.
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A Strong Study On Hormonal Birth Control And Depression
However, another does meet the criteria to qualify as high-quality, and therefore believable. The study of over a million Danish women over age 14, using hard data like diagnosis codes and prescription records, strongly suggests that there is an increased risk of depression associated with all types of hormonal contraception.
The authors took advantage of Denmarks awesome nationalized information collection systems, including diagnosis and prescribing data. These exist because the country has had a well-run and organized national health system for decades. They have reams of data on every single person in Denmark going back to the 1970s. Additional available information used in this study included education level, body mass index, and smoking habits. All of this was de-identified to protect the individuals involved, so there was no potential violation of privacy.* Surprising connections between hormonal birth control and depression emerged.
This study looked at women aged 15 to 34 between 2000 and 2013, and excluded those with preexisting psychiatric conditions, as well as those who could not be prescribed hormones due to medical issues like blood clots, and those who would be prescribed these medications for other reasons. They also excluded women during pregnancy and for six months after pregnancy, and recent immigrants. This way they wouldnt accidentally include women with an unrecorded history of any of these conditions.
There Are Two More Things I Want You To Know About When It Comes To Depression Anxiety And The Pill
Birth control pills are also known for disrupting Tryptophan metabolism. Tryptophan is a very important amino acid because Tryptophan
is needed to make two very important chemicals that Im sure you have heard of.
- #1 Serotonin and the other
- #2 Melatonin.
When you feel sad or depressed, anxious, when you cant think straight, irritable, cant focus- one of the main neurotransmitters that is associated with these feelings is serotonin.
When you cant sleep at night, perhaps you reach for your melatonin supplements. Remember, both are made from Tryptophan and when you use birth control pills, the pill can disrupt your feel good chemicals and the chemicals that regulate your sleep cycle.
This illustration that you see here, shows how Serotonin and Melatonin are made from Tryptophan.
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Limitations And Further Considerations
This study examined adolescents among whom initiation of contraceptive use is relatively recent compared with adults. Overall, 14% of our sample used OCPs. The average duration of use was 1 year in these data, which may not be a sufficient latency period to detect an association if one exists. Most research, however, shows that mood instability due to OCPS use is short-lived: Skovlund et al. demonstrated that associations between OCP use and depression were strongest within the first 612 months after OCP usage began and attenuated with time. In our study sample, depression was ascertained in the past 30 days, the past year, and lifetime, whereas OCP use was ascertained by age of first use, age at current use, and age at discontinuation therefore, we were unable to precisely estimate depression onset within 612 months of OCP initiation. Furthermore, most mood disorders in the United States occur between the ages of 18 and 43 years . While 18% of women in our sample met criteria for depressive disorders, more of them will develop depression as time progresses. We do not know how and under what circumstances these teenage exposures impact illnesses that are acquired as adults.
How Hormones Impact Your Mental Health
There is reason to believe that hormones play a role in depression. Women are about twice as likely as men to have depressionâa difference that begins during puberty . One small study showed that people with depression had lower estrogen levels during the follicular phase . Changes in estrogen levels may explain why some people experience depressive symptoms more frequently in the premenstrual phase, postpartum, and in perimenopause .
When a person uses hormonal birth control, it can change the natural level of hormones in their body and could possibly cause changes to their mental health.
Environmental and societal factors likely affect the risk for depression as well . A family history of mood or psychiatric disorders, adversities in childhood, stressful life events, and social isolation all make it more likely that someone will be diagnosed with major depression .
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How Common Is Depression Among Birth Control Users
The American Psychiatry Association defines depression as a serious medical illness that negatively affects your life. “Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed,” according to the APA. “It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.” Symptoms include sadness, depressed mood, change in appetite, increased restless activity such as pacing, slowed speech or movements, difficulty concentrating, indecisiveness, trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, and suicidal thoughts.
One of the most influential studies about birth control, published in 2016 in JAMA Psychiatry, found that over the course of a year, 2.2 percent of women using hormonal birth control were prescribed antidepressants compared to the 1.7 percent of women not using hormonal birth control. In the same study, taking non-oral forms of hormonal birth control such as the ring, patch, and IUD was associated with a three times higher risk of depression than the birth control pill, and women using a hormonal IUD were 1.4 times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants compared to women who were not on hormonal birth control. Unfortunately, researchers didn’t explore why non-oral forms of contraception were associated with a higher risk of depression, so more research is needed to better understand the possible connection.
Can Birth Control Make Depression Worse
Recent studies indicate that women who do not suffer from PMDD are at a slight risk of developing depression when taking certain hormonal forms of birth control, though this risk is fairly insignificant. Here is what has been found so far:
- Compared with non-users, combined oral contraceptives RR of a first use of antidepressants of 1.2
- Progestin-only pills had an RR of 1.3
- IUD with hormone a levonorgestrel intrauterine system, 1.4
- Vaginal ring , 1.6
- Transdermal patch , 2.0
- Implant, 2.1
- The shot medroxyprogesterone acetate depot, 2.7
TLDR the shot had the highest correlation with depression, whereas the combination pill posed the lowest risk of depression.
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How Does Medication Help Treat Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
We don’t know exactly what causes PMDD. But its thought to be linked to hormone changes that happen during the menstrual cycle. Serotonin is also believed to play a part in the condition. Serotonin is a chemical found in the brain thats involved in regulating mood and anxiety.
Regardless of why PMDD happens, researchers have found some medications that can treat it. Medications can help lessen the symptoms of PMDD and improve your quality of life. This means that with PMDD medication, you can focus more on the things that make you happy and less on your symptoms.
There are a few different types of PMDD medications. The most commonly prescribed medications work in one of two ways:
1) They help balance serotonin levels.
2) They change hormone levels.
Some medications are taken only during certain times of the menstrual cycle, when symptoms are most likely to be the worst. Other medications have to be taken every day. Your healthcare provider will work with you to find which medication and what dose schedule works best for you.
Birth Control Pills Cause Estrogen Dominance And Estrogen Dominance Causes Copper Retention
One of the problems and I have talked about this almost every time I talk about hormonal imbalances is this concept of birth control pills and estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance causes copper retention and accumulation of copper in the body, which can eventually result in toxic overload or copper toxicity.
We also know that the pill and other methods of contraception cause zinc deficiencies Zinc and Copper work together!
When Zinc is low Copper is typically elevated. So if you have low zinc levels as many people do, due to poor diet or poor absorption and you take the pill which is known to cause zinc deficiency and copper overload- you have just created another potential scenario for depression and anxiety!
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Why Hormonal Impact On Mood Is Hard To Measure
Studies on hormonal contraception and mood effects have had inconsistent results. Some of this inconsistency is likely because studies are designed and carried out differently and have different ways of measuring mood and mental health outcomes .
There are few randomized controlled trials on the subject, which involve taking a group of people and randomly assigning them to either take hormonal birth control or not. Most of the studies done on mood and hormonal birth control are based on groups of people who chose for themselves what type of birth control they wanted to use. This leaves open the possibility that the outcomes of the study arenât related to the birth control itself, but to some other factor that would lead people to choose that method . Some studies try to account for personal, familial, or societal factors that can increase a personâs risk for depression, but it can be hard.
Study results are often reported as the average for the group of participants, and do not take into account the experience of individuals. Even in a study that concludes that hormonal birth control does not affect mood, there will be small numbers of individuals in that study that have improvement or worsening of their mood .
How Long Do You Have To Take Pmdd Medications
PMDD is a chronic condition. The cyclic, severe symptoms may last until menopause. If you find a PMDD medication that is helpful, you and your healthcare provider may decide its best for you to take it until then. How long you continue your PMDD medications is a decision best made together with your provider.
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Can Birth Control Pills Alleviate Depressive Symptoms
Some of the most commonly reported side effects of birth control pills are depression and mood swings.
And just like any other study conducted to shed light on this controversial topic, researchers have been unable to prove or disprove a link between birth control pills and depression, as studies have found conflicting results.
Another example is a certain pilot study which found that depression is the top reason behind women stopping their use of birth control pills.
The study also found that women using combination birth control pills were significantly more depressed as compared to another group of women not using the pills.
On the contrary, a recently published study in the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics found that depression is not considered as one of the most common side effects of birth control pills. This study also maintained that the connection between the two is still unclear.
However, despite this lack of certainty, many women have actually reported feeling depressed while taking birth control pills.
But according to the AGO study, these reports may be because of the inconsistent use of the word depression. Differences in pill formulations can also play a role.
This alleged connection can also be due to an already large number of women with depression in the United states, as an estimated 12 million women in the country are diagnosed with clinical depression each year.
Hormonal Birth Control Medications
Certain types of oral birth control containing a progestin called drospirenone have also been FDA approved to treat PMDD. Drospirenone is a unique type of progestin that can help get rid of excess water and lessen certain physical symptoms, such as breast pain and acne. These types of birth control are also considered first-choice treatment options for PMDD.
Birth control pills may help more with physical symptoms than mental health symptoms for some people. So you may need to take birth control with another PMDD medication, like an SSRI. However, other people also experience an improvement in mood symptoms from these medications.
The following oral birth control pills are FDA-approved for PMDD:
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Natural Remedies For Depression
- B vitamins the birth control pill depletes B vitamins and this is one of the mechanism by which it likely causes depression. There are plenty of studies to show the positive affect B vitamins can have on mood. Youll need to take a daily B vitamin complex and additional B12 and B6.
- Probiotics the birth control pill disrupts the microbiome and destroys gut health. Most of the serotonin our bodies make is created in the gut. When your gut flora is off-balance, you cannot absorb the necessary nutrients you need . More research is mounting to explain the gut-brain health connection. This is cutting edge information that will soon become common knowledge. Eat fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut daily.
- Magnesiumthe majority of us are deficient in magnesium. We need magnesium to produce healthy hormone levels. Magnesium is cortisol-regulating, meaning its actually physically calming to our stress-wired systems. Its well-evidenced that magnesium can alleviate depressive symptoms.
- Exercise/movement when youre feeling depressed, working out might seem near-impossible. Thats why I suggest bodywork as an alternative a good massage of any kind can be just as helpful. Many studies point to movement helping to alleviate depression. This doesnt have to mean a spin class, it can mean a massage, or yoga, or stretches, or a simple dance break during your work day. Your body will still release those mood-boosting endorphins.
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
Adolescents And The Pill
Adolescents using COCs in the Danish study had a higher risk for being diagnosed with depression and prescribed an antidepressant than adults in the study .
Adolescents in the study Finnish study were more likely than people not using hormonal birth control to be prescribed an antidepressant for every COC formulation they studied .
A study of adolescents in the U.S. who were currently or had ever used the pill showed an increased risk for ever having experienced depression, but no increased risk for current depression . But when other factors such as age, smoking, BMI, family socioeconomic status, and whether the adolescents were sexually active were considered along with the use of birth control pills, there was no increased risk for depression .
A small study where adolescents were randomly assigned to use COCs containing ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel or placebo for three months showed no difference in depression scores between the two groups at the end of the study .
The key takeaway: The pill may increase the chance of being diagnosed with or treated for depression, but the specific pill formulation may make a difference. Overall, it appears as though COCs do not have a harmful effect on mood reported by users, but this may vary between individuals.
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