By Raven Fon
If you’ve ever wondered if your irrational sadness and depression were caused by your birth control, a new study may have the answers you’re looking for.
What if you’re on the pill and you stop taking it? That’s a big worry for a lot of women, which is why they choose to remain on it. But what about what is happening to our bodies while we are on hormonal birth control?
Does this sound familiar? You take the pill, and things feel okay for a short time, but then chaos ensues. Your thoughts are crazy and wild and sad and- where did this all come from? There is confusion and frustration, worry and misery, but you don’t know why you are feeling these things. You think “Maybe it’s the pills.” So, you talk to your doctor, but he tells you that what you are feeling is perfectly normal. After all, many women experience the same thing you described to him.
Mental health isn’t a simple thing to measure, but several women report worrying experiences such as these. Their frustration is compounded with the uncertainty about whether the issue is caused by the excessively potent hormones in birth control pills. A new, huge study from Denmark into hormonal contraceptives has come back with an answer for us all: Quite possibly, yes.
The University of Copenhagen monitored over one million Danish women for 13 years. They discovered there was a 40 % increased risk of depression in women who had been on hormonal birth control after only 6 months.
The study began in 2000, and studied women ages 15 to 34. They found that some types of contraception had higher risks for depression than some others. Reportedly, the risk of depression was twice as great for women on progestin-only methods (injection and “the mini-pill”) and tripled for women with the Mirena IUD. It is to be noted, the results varied for women at different ages, but the risk for depression was generally higher for teen girls. “It is important that we tell women that there is this possibility. And there are effective non-hormonal methods of birth control,” Dr. Oejvind Lidegaard, senior author of the study, told The New York Times.
You can read the complete study here, and then, find out what you need to know if you’re thinking about going off the pill. Talk to a medical professional who really knows what they are talking about, not just someone who wants to make a buck. Consult holistic options as well. Your mental health affects every aspect of your life, and several aspects of those who love you. Take care of it.