Is There a Link Between Depression and Birth Control?

depression-birth control

We’ve known that hormones affect our mood, brains and even other functions of our body for years, but until recently, we haven’t seen such studies on the correlation between hormonal birth control and depression.

In a published study following over one million women between the ages of 15 and 35, those on hormonal birth control showed over 30% increased risk of depression. Even more alarming is that younger women showed a higher prevalence.

Can Taking Birth Control Make Depression Worse?

After using hormonal birth control for just six months, research shows that changing levels in estrogen were a main cause in the increase of depression. Any time there are changes in hormone levels, just based off of your brain chemistry alone, your mood will be affected.

Depending on the type of depression you have, birth control pills can improve it or make it worse.

Is Birth Control and Depression Connected?

• PMS or menstrual related depression can be improved by using the birth control pill.
• Depression that only sets on during “that time of the month” is caused by hormonal changes in your body.
• Those rapid changes can be “mellowed” by taking the pill.
• Many women with menstrual or PMS related depression see an improvement in the way they feel after being on the pill for a couple of months.

If you constantly suffer from depression, it is probably not hormone related, at least not related to the hormonal changes associated with your period. Taking the pill in this case can make things worse instead of helping relieve your depression. Many women feel increased depression after being on the pill. There are also some who don’t start feeling depressed until they start taking the birth control pill. Usually using an alternate form of birth control in addition to some natural or prescription medication will get you back out of depression.

Depression should never be stigmatized. Mental health is brain health, and science proves that your mental health is often affected by the prescriptions you take and the food that you eat.

There’s nothing wrong with taking birth control, but, like anything that can affect your mood, it’s important that you stay aware of your feelings and behaviors. If you or a loved one has been experiencing depression symptoms, call us at at 888-288-9834 or tell us more online.

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