Many women who have used hormonal contraception for extended periods notice the mental health side effects of birth control.
Women react variedly to birth control. However, hormone-based birth control does directly affect mood. Healthcare providers noticed an increasing trend in women opting for non-hormonal birth control. As people become more mindful of what they put into their bodies, this shift isn’t unprecedented.
Which birth control affects mood?
The birth control pill and mini pill affect mood. Research found that oral contraceptives increase depression, mood swings, and fatigue.
Pills are the contraceptive method that has undergone the most research. However, studies found that the implant can cause emotional instability and depression. But this was a lot less frequent.
The data is mixed regarding the mental health side effects of contraceptives. Some experts suggest extreme mood changes could result from a pre-existing mental condition. However, an increase or decrease in sex hormones does lead to mood changes. For instance, high testosterone can lead to aggression.
The mental health side effects of birth control
A hormonal medication changes your physiology. Some changes can be significant depending on how you react to the medication.
Taking progestin-only contraceptives can lead to mood disorders. These are contraceptives that contain progesterone only. They can stop your period altogether.
This can be beneficial for people with extremely painful menstrual cramps. In addition, some progesterone pills have been recommended to manage premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Progesterone can also interfere with the production of dopamine and serotonin. This makes you feel like things you used to make you happy don’t work anymore. It’s also possible to experience mood changes if you’re 19 or younger.
Furthermore, progesterone is a hormone that suppresses libido. Taking birth control agents with progesterone can make you feel less eager for sex.
Many women report feeling depressed while they’re on the pill. However, others have gotten depression symptoms after going off the pill. More research is needed to find a definitive link between depression and contraceptives.
There are many factors that scientists have considered, including pre-existing mental health problems and age. For instance, studies found that 16-year-olds on birth control cried more, slept too much, and developed eating issues. You’re more likely to be affected by contraceptives if you have a mood disorder.
How to choose the best birth control
If you are wary of using hormone-based contraceptives, you can consider IUDs, diaphragms, rings, condoms, or vaginal rings.
Furthermore, you can try contraceptives that aren’t taken orally, such as the patch. You can also choose a pill that has a lower concentration of progestin. Your choices depend on your finances, lifestyle, and when you plan to get pregnant. The majority of contraceptives are safe.
However, you should speak with your doctor if you experience the following mental health symptoms for more than two weeks:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Extreme hopelessness
- Too much or too little sleep
- Find it hard to do simple things
- Mood swings
Questions to Consider Before Choosing A Birth Control Method
Female Contraceptives: Are Women Aware Of All The Options?
Male Birth Control; Are Men Aware of All the Options?
Male Contraceptives: What Are The Available Options And What Are Their Advantages and Disadvantages?
Common Errors And Mistakes When Using Male Condoms
A Woman Using Depo-Provera Has Been Unable To Conceive For 10 Years. Here Are Some Of The Things You Need To Know About This Contraceptive