Birth control and depression

Some studies have found that women who use the birth control pill, or other hormonal  contraception, such as implants and injections, have a higher risk of depression. But new research suggests that's not the case.

Gina Carlomagno has suffered with depression in the past and worried about how hormonal birth control might affect her mood.

“Sometimes with those hormonal imbalances, when you’re trying to adjust to a new birth control, sometimes those emotions get, you know, out of whack," she said.
It’s a fear that doctors hear often from their patients. So, to ease patient concerns, Dr. Brett Worly and his team at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center reviewed thousands of studies on the mental health effects of contraceptives. The research included data tied to various methods of birth control, including pills, injections and implants, and in every instance, their findings were the same.

"The biggest misconception is that hormonal contraception leads to depression. For most patients, that just doesn't seem like it's the case," Dr. Worly explained.

Researchers reviewed the use of birth control in adolescents, women who'd just given birth, and those with a history of depression.  

​Overwhelmingly, this is a safe method and women should feel comfortable making this choice, Dr. Worly added. He believes patient concerns are valid, and wants women to continue having an open and honest discussion with their doctor.

Experts say further research is needed to verify the data  on the side effects of contraceptives, but they hope this study reassures women that they can safely choose the birth control method that works best for them.  



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