Saturday, April 20, 2024

Can Birth Control Help Anxiety And Depression

What Birth Control Methods Are We Talking About

Can birth control pills cause anxiety?

When it comes to adverse effects, the pill is often the first contraceptive method that springs to mind.

But theres a link between anxiety and all forms of hormonal contraception, says Dr. Enam Abood from Londons Harley Street Health Centre.

A found hormonal contraceptive users had higher rates of anxiety than nonusers.

And a noted that users of IUDs containing the hormone levonorgestrel also had higher anxiety rates.

But the pill seems to have been the focus of more research than other methods.

Combination oral contraceptives and progesterone-only minipills are usually associated with depression and anxiety more than other options of birth control, Lakhani says.


However, the review did conclude that non-oral combined hormonal contraceptive methods may result in fewer mood changes.

There are a few simple reasons.

First, there isnt enough research into the mental and emotional effects of hormonal birth control.

Second, the research that does exist has produced conflicting results .

And third: All of the above, plus varying research methods, has meant its impossible to prove cause and effect.

In other words, researchers are currently uncertain. Its likely to remain that way until more studies are carried out.

If you have a personal history of anxiety or mood disorders, you may be more prone to the emotional effects of birth control.

This hasnt been fully proven, but it is a theory put forward


Heres Why You Should Ask Your Doctor Test You For Shbg

  • Low libido/sex drive
  • Fatigued,
  • Trouble focusing and staying on task
  • Hair loss or more likely your hair is not growing as quickly as it once did
  • Depression and or Anxiety
  • If those symptoms sounds familiar, testing your SHBG levels can offer insight into the hormonal imbalances associated with Low testosterone caused by the pill. Now

    and YES woman make them and they also ABSOLUTELY need them!

    Here is a study from the Journal of Sex Medicine titled, Impact of oral contraceptives on sex hormone binding globulin and androgen levels- a retrospective study in woman with sexual dysfunction.

    While so much emphasis in woman is placed on the levels of Estrogen and Progesterone as the main culprits of sexual dysfunction, its easy to overlook Testosterone, and DHT. If you look here, I summarized some of the most common symptoms in women associated with low Testosterone.

    Now, I want to show you some testing from a recent patient and the reason I show you this is that this could be happening to you! But you would never know, unless youre doctor run these tests for you.

    Why Do People Quit Birth Control

    Aside from trying to get pregnant, some women stop taking hormonal contraception because of how it makes them feel. One of the biggest side effects and most talked about is hormonal birth controls negative effect on libido .

    Another commonly cited side effect of hormonal birth control is its effect on mood, anxiety, and depression. Anxiety and depression have been shown to fluctuate when women take hormonal birth control . But its difficult to say whether those changes are due to birth control or other external factors that can impact mental health .

    If youre experiencing any of these side effects, quitting hormonal birth control might provide you with relief.

    Read Also: How To Relieve Depression During Pregnancy

    Hormonal Contraceptives Are For Healthy People

    Remember that oral contraceptives and hormonal birth control have all been designed with a healthy woman in mind. Studies also aim to eliminate anyone who has a diagnosis that could skew results.

    So, if youre a woman who already has a preexisting condition, like autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, an adrenal condition or a mood disorder, starting off with these hormones may just be a recipe for disaster in your body.

    Sadly, many women and young girls are being put on these hormones to treat symptoms, such as acne, irregular periods, PCOS, or extremely painful periods. Hey, you name the period problem, and youre going to get a prescription from your doctor for some hormonal suppression.

    I take issue with using the pill to mask symptoms and telling a woman that this is the only way to fix her hormones.

    They dont fix your hormones. And if youve had a suspicion this is true, but fear to return to nightmare periods then girl, I got you. You need to attend my free masterclass called The Pill Free Period.

    And please ladies, this is in no way judgement if you use hormones to manage symptoms. I did it too. But I want you to know you have options.

    What If You Already Have Depression

    Oral contraceptives cause low vitamin B6 and zinc, reduce ...

    The U.S. Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization guidelines put no restrictions on the use of any type of birth control for people who have depression . The use of combined hormonal birth control, the hormonal IUD, implant, and the shot is not associated with worsening of symptoms among people with depression or bipolar disorder . One study actually showed less depressive symptoms among combined hormonal birth control users compared to people not using hormonal methods .

    There arenât believed to be any interactions between SSRIs , which are commonly prescribed for depression, and hormonal contraception . The CDC puts no restriction on the use of any hormonal birth control for people who are taking SSRIs .

    Other supplements and medications used for depression, such as tricyclic antidepressants, bupropion, and St. Johnâs Wort may interact with hormonal contraception .

    Itâs important to speak with your healthcare provider about what supplements and medications you are taking and whether there are possible interactions with hormonal birth control.

    Read Also: What Do People Do When They Are Depressed

    Picking Your Birth Control

    Your choice will depend on things like your lifestyle, ease of use, cost, and when and if you plan to have a baby.

    If youâre worried about how hormonal birth control may affect your mood, ask your doctor if you might have other options. They might include:

    • Birth control that has fewer androgenic progestins
    • Continuous combination hormonal contraception. There is a version of the pill that allows you to take a hormone pill every day and not have a period each month.
    • Combination hormonal contraceptives you donât take by mouth. The patch and vaginal ring are examples of this.
    • Hormone-free alternatives like a copper intrauterine device, condoms, and diaphragm/cervical cap

    Would Swapping Birth Control Methods Make A Difference

    Changing birth control may alleviate feelings of anxiety. But theres a chance it could make little difference.

    If you begin to experience anxiety or other mood changes, you can consider switching to a nonhormonal form of contraception. The list includes:

    • copper IUD

    for people who are worried theyll forget to take a pill or apply a patch.

    Your doctor can guide you down the best path.

    If you want to stop taking hormonal contraception, its entirely your choice.

    But Lakhani advises never coming off your birth control without consulting with your doctor first.

    Ask them the following:

    • Can I get pregnant straight away?
    • What side effects might I experience?
    • What should I use for contraception now?

    Some methods, like the pill and patch, can be stopped immediately. Others, like the implant, will need to be removed by a healthcare provider.

    Something to consider: Its good practice to not stop the pill or patch in the middle of your pack. Doing so can cause irregular bleeding.

    The hormones from birth control should exit your body within a few days.

    Stopping any kind of hormonal birth control can have an impact on both your body and mind.

    You may find that your menstrual cycle becomes irregular, or that your mood changes.

    You may also experience symptoms your contraception was helping to manage, like painful periods and acne.

    None of the side effects should be too severe. Many will right themselves as your body gets back to its usual hormone production.

    Don’t Miss: How Do I Support Someone With Depression

    How Could The Pill Be Contributing To Depression

    There are several mechanisms at play and more research is needed to understand the far-reaching impacts of the pill. What we do know is the pill depletes nutrients crucial for brain health, disrupts thyroid hormone, causes issues with your adrenals, and inflammation in your gut. Any of these can cause someone to feel depressed.

    But more recently there has been evidence showing that pill users experience a decrease in neuroprotective molecules and have increased levels of neurotoxic chemicals compared to women who are not on the pill. That means being on the pill can be bad news for your brain.

    How does this happen? It all comes down to how the amino acid tryptophan gets processed while on the pill.

    Read Also: 3 Stages Of Schizophrenia

    What Happens To Your Shbg Levels When You Stop Taking Taking The Pill

    MY EXPERIENCE WITH MEDICATIONS (birth control, ADHD, depression, anxiety)

    50% of women who have PCOS suffer with depression and for these women the pill can be disastrous. One last thing I want you to be aware of when it comes to stopping the pill. You should know that it can take months and sometime years for these SHBG levels to come down to normal levels.

    This means you could suffer with symptoms such as low libido, fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain, blood sugar problems, depression for months after discontinuing the pill. So just be aware of that!

    So just a quick recap, so far I have showed you how the Pill binds up testosterone, it causes inflammation, it can cause blood sugar problems, all potential culprits in the BIG picture of depression and anxiety.

    Don’t Miss: Emory Treatment Resistant Depression Clinic

    Can Birth Control Help Mental Health

    In addition to treating depression symptoms associated with conditions such as premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder , hormonal birth control can also help relieve anxiety. Birth control can help people manage and even improve their moods and overall mental health, for many of them. Sex can suffer from stress.

    If You Think Your Contraception Is Making You Anxious Or Depressed Youre Not Imagining Things Evolutionary Psychologist Sarah E Hill Explains What Happens To Your Brain On Birth Control

    Most women know at least one or two other women who have had a bad reaction to the pill. In fact, the question that many of us have about the pill: Why does the pill make me crazy?

    Before I get into what the research says about all this, let me just address the elephant in the room the whole thing about womens sex hormones influencing mood. Which they do. This might be the worlds oldest cliché about women, but that doesnt make it any less true. Womens sex hormones influence womens moods. Mens sex hormones affect mens moods. It would be impossible for them not to.

    Back to the question. To start with, all of us feel a little crazy sometimes. Life is hard and can make anyone feel anxious and overwhelmed at times. For some women, being on the pill can magnify these feelings, leading to anxiety disorders and depression. But if these things happen to you, it doesnt mean youre crazy it just means youre on the wrong pill.

    Mood-related issues like anxiety and depression are super-common among women on the pill. Almost half of all women who go on the pill stop using it within the first year because of intolerable side effects, and the one most frequently cited is unpleasant changesin mood. Sometimes its intolerable anxiety other times, its intolerable depression or maybe both simultaneously. And even though some womens doctors may tell them that those mood changes arent real or important, a growing body of research suggests otherwise.

    Also Check: Lack Of Sleep Causes Depression

    How Is Pmdd Managed Or Treated

    Your healthcare provider may recommend one or more of these treatments to help manage PMDD:

    • Antidepressants to help manage your brains serotonin levels.
    • Dietary changes, such as cutting back on salty, fatty or sugary foods and caffeine.
    • Over-the-counter pain medicines to ease cramps , headaches, breast tenderness and other physical symptoms.
    • Regular exercise to improve mood.
    • Stress management tools, such as deep breathing exercises and meditation.

    How Can Women Decrease Their Risk Of Developing Depression When Starting Birth Control

    Birth Control and Anxiety: How the Pill Can Affect Your ...

    As always, its crucial that women are proactive with their health and communicate with their doctors about any concerns or emerging symptoms they may have when trying a new form of birth control. Each individuals reaction to birth control may vary, so it is normal to notice different symptoms than others who are taking the same type. Fortunately, there are 40+ different pills it may take some trial and error to find your perfect match.

    The progestin-only methods, such as the minipill, IUD with hormone, implant, and shot seem to have the highest risk for depression. This is something individuals may want to keep in mind.

    Also Check: Do You Have To Be Sad To Have Depression

    Counseling Strategies For Contraception And Mental Health

    Women with depression and anxiety, as well as all women, may benefit from education and counseling strategies that deliver repeated and specific information on user-related method effectiveness rates and the relationship of contraceptive effectiveness to mental wellbeing . Providers should monitor for and counsel on adherence issues reports of missing dosages or discontinuation of an antidepressant may alert the provider to contraceptive misuse or discontinuation. Evidence-based counseling techniques like motivational interviewing can be used to focus attention on specific problematic behaviors to evoke motivation for change by increasing confidence, readiness, and planning to improve contraceptive behaviors,, for instance the use of cell phone reminders or a consistent daily pill-taking routine. Providers should also work to dispel myths and misperceptions of side effects and reinforce the benefits and positive non- contraceptive effects of modern methods. Finally, counseling should include information on dual method use and sexual risk behavior given documented higher rates of sexually transmitted infections among women with depression and anxiety.

    Can Birth Control Stabilize Moods

    Moreover, while some women experience negative side effects from taking the pill, others experience positive side effects. The pill has a lot of benefits for them, as well as for their mental health. Furthermore, research shows that the pill can help women who suffer from severe PMS to cope with their mood swings.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Overcome Depression Without Medication

    Dashdividers: : 500x: 3

    I think she gave me Dianette just because I have PCOS rather than to alleviate any specific symptoms. I never really felt anything but could not stop crying. Colleagues got used to me crying at my desk and stopped asking me what was wrong.

    The pill has always been prescribed to me as a catch-all for hormonal dysfunction and gynae issues.

    The pain and misery endocrine disorders can cause is often minimised and people accessing care are treated as hysterical women exaggerating pain or discomfort, often regardless of whether they’re women, non-binary people or trans men.

    It’s so frustrating that the gynaecologists I’ve had aren’t able to really talk seriously about mental health I feel like I can’t trust their advice.

    *Some names have been changed for privacy

    Recovery From Anxiety/depression Caused By Birth Control

    Can Hormonal Birth Control Cause Depression?

    Christine Ford273474 over a year ago

    I HAVE RECOVERED! And I want to share my story because I went searching for answers all over the internet when these problems were happening to me, and not many people had comments about being better. I’m sure many of them just moved on with their lives as I almost did. But I came back to these forums to post so that whoever is hurting might know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Keep hope alive. I did not have much hope at that time, but now I am absolutely fine 🙂

    It all began when I went on birth control as suggested by my gyno because my periods were not happening every month like clockwork and this concerned her. But after awhile, I started getting bad headaches, so I quit them cold turkey after 3 months. Well, I was fine for awhile until a few weeks passed. Then my world changed forever.

    One day I randomly started feeling extreme anxiety, a problem I have never experienced in my life. I could not eat or sleep no matter how long it had been since I had eaten and no matter how tired I knew I was. My body went haywire and it scared me to death. I was terrified, questioned my faith and my salvation, and did not want to be alone in case I died .

    I am so sorry if any of you are going through this. I hope it ends soon. But if you are, know that it is most likely temporary. Don’t try to fight it and question everything about your universe – just keep breathing. A better day is ahead.


    Rel B over a year ago

    Recommended Reading: Things To Do To Get Over Depression

    Oxidative Stress And Depression

    Since most people have never heard of oxidative stress as it related to Depression and anxiety, Lets talk for just a moment about oxidative stress

    • What is it,
    • Why you need to know about it,
    • How to test for it and
    • Its connection to depression and anxiety

    First off, Oxidative stress is a destructive force on the cells in your body and it happens when you dont have sufficient amount of antioxidants due to poor diet, poor absorption underlying inflammatory condition in the body.

    While that might not seem like a big deal-its a huge problem to the integrity of the cells in your body. I like to use this illustration of an apple when explaining oxidative stress to my patients.

    We all have apples in our house sitting on our kitchen table. As long as you dont bite into that apple and disturb the outer skin of the apple, that apple will keep fresh for several weeks and perhaps even a month or two.

    But have you ever noticed that when you take a bit out of that apple, within just a few short minutes, that apple begins to turn brown. If you left that apple on the kitchen table for a week it would be rotten. Thats Oxidative stress! But when it happens in your body- that oxidative stress is damaging the cells and causing disease at the cellular level. One way we measure oxidative stress is by measuring lipid peroxidation,

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