Why Do Women Use Hormonal Birth Control
You might be wondering why some women use hormonal birth control if they are concerned about side effects of depression when there are other options available. While it goes without saying that the reason why many women use hormonal birth control is to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
However, there are many different reasons that women use hormonal forms of birth control, such as birth control pills. Using hormonal birth control can help reduce the severity of menstrual cramps, lessen menstrual flow for lighter periods, and reduce the risk of experiencing ectopic pregnancy.
Hormonal methods of birth control can also help prevent or diminish the following:
- Cysts in the ovaries or breasts
- Serious infections of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus
- Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS
- Iron deficiency
Clearly, there are many different reasons why women take hormonal birth control, including women who are not sexually active or cannot get pregnant for other reasons. Therefore, rather than suggesting that women use a different form of birth control when they begin to experience side effects, some companies have begun to research how side effects of hormonal birth control can be mitigated or prevented through nutritional support.
When To Talk To Your Health Care Provider
Depression is serious and it should not be taken lightly. If you are experiencing depressive symptoms, you may ask your health care provider to refer you to a mental health professional, especially when the symptoms of depression you are having begin to affect your relationship with your family or at work.
If you or someone you know is having overwhelming feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts, seek help right away.
You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK .
Supreme Court Avoids Major Ruling In Birth Control Dispute
Women who choose to go on hormonal contraception might be doing so to control health problems like menstrual pain or bleeding that could put them at higher risk of depression. They might also turn to birth control because theyre in stressful social situations that would make pregnancy undesirable and also put them at risk for depression.
Several experts said they wished the study had specifically looked at the health outcomes of women using copper IUDs or condoms or other non-hormonal forms of contraception, to see how they compared with women using no contraception and hormonal contraception.
Lidegaard said copper IUDs werent tracked in the study because they are free over the counter in Denmark, meaning that they are not tracked in the countrys database. He said it was unlikely that the need for birth control was driving the findings.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Out Of Deep Depression
You Might Gain Or Lose Weight
Not everyone loses weight when they stop taking the Pill. Some gain a few pounds. Research shows that a third of women who stop taking oral contraception lose weight, a third gain weight, and a third stay exactly the same, says Dr. Dweck.
If the scale goes down, its most likely water weight, since being on the Pill can cause water retention. But remember: Losing water weight isnt the same as losing fat, so any lost pounds likely wont last.
How Can The Risk Of Depression Be Minimized While Taking Birth Control
As researchers work to conclusively establish a link between depression and hormonal forms of birth control, it can be helpful to look at the evidence that has been established regarding the impact of hormonal birth control on womens health.
The World Health Organization has stated that hormonal contraceptives can cause the depletion of vitamins and minerals such as folate , vitamins B2, B6, B12, C, and E, as well as magnesium, selenium, and zinc. The reduction in vitamins C and E, which are important antioxidants, contribute to a state called oxidative stress, in which the free radicals in the body cause damage to cells and DNA in the body, which can affect mental health. A literature review found that oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, have been linked to lower levels of vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Vitamin B6 deficiency is linked to depression in women taking oral contraceptives because it reduces the amount of tryptophan in the brain, which reduces serotonin production.
Low folate levels have also been tied to depression, as people with low folate levels are significantly less likely to respond to treatment with antidepressants than people with high folate levels.
Its recommended that women who are considering taking hormonal birth control track their moods prior to taking birth control and also after they begin using hormonal contraceptives in order to determine if mood changes may be linked to their use of contraceptives.
Read Also: Bipolar Depression How Long Does It Last
Iuds And Depression: How Are They Related
Hormonal intrauterine devices, or IUDs, are a common form of hormonal birth control that have been used for decades. However, the synthetic progestin hormone that the IUD emits, levonorgestrel, may cause mood swings and other mental health changes for some women. Some women have reported being concerned about anxiety or depression as a side effect of their IUD. Read on to find out if you need to consult with your doctor about mental health side effects of your IUD.
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,
Also Check: How To Tell The Doctor Your Depressed
Can Iuds Cause Depression Or Other Mental Health Issues
Whether or not IUDs cause mental health issues isnt a universal yes-or-no question. Each womans hormonal profile is different, so the low levels of progesterone that hormonal IUDs emit may or may not affect your overall hormonal balance or mood.
There are a few things about IUDs that make them a popular form of birth control. The hormonal IUD has a low dose of progesterone, which mainly has a local effect in the uterine cavity. Hormonal IUDs can last anywhere from three to five years, making them great for long-term family planning.
Some studies have indicated that there is no correlation between IUDs and depression or anxiety. However, other studies show that women who have a history of depression and anxiety, or mental health issues related to those two conditions, may have a negative experience with hormonal birth control of any sort. Research into the effects of added female hormones from birth control has been extensive and is still inconclusive. Essentially, whether or not an IUD will cause depression depends on each womans individual chemical makeup.
Birth control, including IUDs, that contains only progesterone seems to be linked to more incidences of depression than methods that also include low doses of estrogen.
Can Birth Control Cause Depression
Birth control comes in many forms, including hormonal and non-hormonal options. Like all other medications, there are side effects associated with contraceptives, such as headaches or irregular bleeding. While many people have reported depressive symptoms while taking hormonal birth control, there is not enough evidence to prove that hormonal contraceptives cause depression.
This article discusses the relationship between hormonal birth control and depression, as well as the types of hormonal birth control and other side effects.
Birth Control Causes Depression Not So Fast
- Read in app
One of the biggest American public health victories of the last decade has been the record low reached in the teenage birthrate. Along with that have been lows in rates for teenage pregnancy and abortion. Most researchers believe that improved access to contraception is a large part of this success.
But news continues to focus on the concern that hormone-based contraception like the pill or the patch causes depression, and that this should lead us to question its wider use. A more nuanced discussion would consider both the benefits and the harms.
This issue drew widespread coverage at the end of last year with a large study . Researchers tracked all women and adolescent females living in Denmark from 2000 through 2014. The study found that those who used hormonal contraception had significantly higher risks of also taking an antidepressant.
The study broke down the increased relative risk for each hormonal method this way: combined oral contraceptives , progestogen-only pills , the patch , vaginal ring and levonorgestrel intrauterine system .
The risks were highest in adolescents and decreased as women aged. The risks also peaked six months after the start of contraception.
Its also possible that an antidepressant prescription isnt the best measure of new-onset depression. That would require an actual diagnosis by a health care professional, and such data were not available in the Danish cohort.
Can Birth Control Cause Mood Swings
We all know someone who swears that birth control completely wrecked their mood. Whether it was making them feel anxious, depressed, angry or like a crazy, jealous mad woman, theres no denying theres a link between birth control and mood swings or mood changes.
And maybe you were one of those people. I know I was.
When I was a teenager, my doctor put me on birth control pills. These made me feel depressed and I honestly had days where I didnt even recognize who I was anymore. But despite my insistence that the pill was the cause of my mood swings, my doctor assured me that there was no link.
Fast forward to me now. A doctor who works with women every day in my medical practice to undo the effects that hormonal birth control causes. Because it is real. Women come to me with new onset of depression, anxiety and mood swings after starting hormonal birth control. And I listen to their stories of how the pill or other synthetic hormones have created a huge disruption in their life.
Ive had patients tell me stories about completely falling out of love with their husband or partner after starting birth control.
Many women report lacking all motivation and joy, losing interest in hobbies and feeling like birth control robbed them of their mental edge at work.
And there are the women who feel disconnectedfrom their child, their friends, even themselves.
Read Also: Can Birth Control Pills Cause Depression
What You Should Do If Youre Depressed
Depression is serious and shouldnt be taken lightly. If youre experiencing the symptoms of depression, ask your doctor for a referral to a mental health professional. Your symptoms may be relieved through therapy or antidepressant medications.
If youre in a depressive crisis or feeling suicidal, call 911, go to your local emergency room, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK .
Association Between Hormonal Birth Control Substance Use And Depression
- Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, United States
Objective: The current study examined the impact of the use of hormonal birth control, cannabis , and alcohol on depression symptoms.
Study Design: Survey data from 3,320 college-aged women collected over a 2-year period. Depression symptoms were assessed using the PHQ-9.
Results: Individuals taking hormonal birth control had lower overall depression scores than did those not taking birth control with 15.2% of those not taking hormonal birth control had depressive symptoms while 12.1% of those in the birth control group had depressive symptoms. Additionally, those taking hormonal birth control had higher scores on the alcohol and CB use assessment. A between-subjects ANOVA with depression score as the dependent variable found significant effects hormonal birth control use, CB and alcohol use, as well as a significant interaction between CB use and hormonal birth control use.
While there are some limitations , the results suggest that hormonal birth control use may help to reduce depressive symptoms.
Implications: More studies examining the impact of hormonal birth control and substance use on depression are required. The results suggest a potential interaction between CB and hormonal birth control use on depression symptoms that is not observed for alcohol. This implies that alcohol and CB may be linked to depression via different mechanisms.
You May Like: Mood Tracker App For Depression
The Pills Surprising Effects On The Brain
The Pill is the most popular form of contraception in the U.S. with over 9 million women using it. Oral contraceptive pills contain synthetic that hijack your cyclical hormonal process, replacing it with a steady supply of low levels of synthetic estrogen and progesterone. You may already be aware that OCPs have been shown to cause problems with blood pressure and blood clots and increase the incidence of strokes, especially if you smoke or have a history of migraine headaches. But did you know that OCPs also affect your brain and mental well-being?
Other Possible Side Effects Of Hormonal Iuds
Aside from the possible connection between IUDs and anxiety, there are other side effects from IUDs that can range from mild to severe. Most women feel a small, sharp pain when the IUD is put in and cramping or lower back aches for several days afterward. You may notice spotting more than usual between periods, irregular periods, or heavier periods and more severe cramps.
Most women feel a small, sharp pain when the IUD is put in and cramping or lower back aches for several days afterward.
Over-the-counter pain medication can help with the initial pain of having your IUD implanted and the cramping associated with your period. However, if the bleeding is unusually heavy and the cramping doesnt go away, see your doctor.
Read Also: How Do Parents Deal With Teenage Depression
Do Antidepressants Affect Birth Control
No, antidepressants do not affect birth control. However, if taking these medications, it is key to talk to your doctor before starting birth control to avoid any negative reactions in your body.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article intend to inform and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Pandia Health, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
Adrenal And Thyroid Health
Hypothyroid women are more prone to having depression and anxiety.
The adrenal glands help regulate inflammation. When function is compromised, this can also lead to mood symptoms.
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.
What Do You Do If You Are Facing Depression
Depression is not something to be taken lightly. If the symptoms persist for over two weeks it is crucial that you ask your doctor to refer you to a mental health specialist. Therapy and anti-depressants may help depending on what your doctor may prescribe.
Simply talking to someone can prove to be extremely rewarding. If you know of someone who may be facing these symptoms, lend an ear, or suggest a specialist if they are not comfortable talking to you. Even the smallest detail can completely change the way we look at things.
In more severe cases, thoughts of suicide are a symptom, and should be treated with the utmost sense of urgency. If you are facing these thoughts, contact your local helpline or get in touch with a specialist who can help.
Don’t Miss: How To Fight Off Depression Naturally