Women having been taking the birth control pill since the 1960s. It is one of the most popular forms of contraception to date. In fact, 1 out of 4 women between the ages of 15 to 24 takes the pill. Its popularity is in large part due to it being easy to obtain from a healthcare provider, it is simple to take, it is affordable and now covered by insurance, and the risks have been minimal. However, the latest research and studies about the birth control pill may have you rethinking this option!
The latest studies have found that the birth control pill may be associated with an increased risk of depression. This study was conducted over 14 years and evaluated more than one million Danish women who ranged between 15 and 34 years old. The study found that there was a 40% increased risk of depression for women on the pill after being on the pill for six months versus women who were not on the pill.
So, should you be worried about depression when you are on the pill? The birth control pill is a drug and requires a prescription from your doctor. With that said, your doctor should be having an in-depth discussion with you about the birth control pill before you ever start taking it. The doctor should explain the benefits as well as side effects to you. This way you can decide on what is best for you. You should weigh the pros and cons for your situation before diving in. If you are someone who is depressed or has a family history of depression, it would be wise to take this into serious consideration. The birth control pill might not be the best option for you.
If you decide that the birth control pill is the right choice for you, just remember to track your feelings, moods, and overall symptoms. If you notice something seems off, contact your doctor and tell them how you have been feeling. It could very well be the hormones from the pill, and you should not brush off your blues. Hormones are tricky and can certainly be responsible for affecting your mood! It doesn’t mean that the birth control pill isn’t right for you, it just might mean you need to change pills. Nowadays, there are so many options to choose from! There are low dose, progesterone only, combination, and extended cycle pills. There are plenty of brands and different generics at your disposal. Most women will try several different brands or types before they find the one that works for them best. So, don’t get discouraged!
The birth control pill has been around and widely used by women of all ages for decades. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. While it can be linked to an increase in depression with use, it can also be used safely and efficiently by women. At the end of the day, it is your body and your decision. Figure out what works best for you and just be aware that you need to monitor yourself while on it.