The Pill is a damn godsend to many women who are sexually active but have literally no desire to have a baby at the moment. It also has other benefits such as regulating your cycle and helping control PMS, and it’s even been known to clear up your skin. Many women, however, often complain that taking the Pill messes with their overall mood. And a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry has indicated there may be a link between hormonal contraception methods and depression.
According to the study, the use of hormonal contraception was associated with the subsequent use of antidepressants. This was especially apparent among adolescents. Over one million women between the ages of 15 and 34 and presently taking some form of birth control had their health monitored for thirteen years. The overall results found that women using hormonal birth control methods (such as the Pill, hormonal IUDs, vaginal rings, and hormonal patches) were more likely to be on antidepressants and have a depression diagnosis by the end of the study compared to the women who opted for non-hormonal options of birth control (such as condoms, diaphragms, or the copper IUD).
Don’t go throwing your pill pack out the window and ditching your organic cotton tampons just yet, though. The study only concluded the link is just a correlation. This does not mean the Pill or other forms of hormonal birth control cause depression. However, if you take into consideration the amount of women in the study, it does make you think real hard about your options — or lack thereof, I suppose.
I would suggest having a very open and honest discussion with your doctor if you feel that the Pill is affecting you negatively. If you have a history of depression or anxiety, that’s something you need to discuss, because he or she might have a different suggestion other than the hormonal methods. That way, you both can work together to come up with a plan that works best for you in the short term and long run.