If you’ve ever thought your mood was a little off cos of the pill, this research may be the affirmation you’ve been waiting for.
me wen my mood hit
A study of a whopping one million women, conduced by the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, has found a worrisome link between the use of hormonal contraception (like the pill) and an increased risk of depression.
The landmark study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry, found that females aged 15 to 34 who used hormonal contraception were found to be 23% more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than women who didn’t.
What’s more, these women were most commonly prescribed anti-depressants by their doctor in the first six months of starting the pill.
The risk was even higher in women who took progestin-only hormonal methods (such as the Implanon or the shot), who had a 34% chance of being diagnosed with depression than non-pill taking women.
The implications of all this are pretty big, considering the number of women involved in the study. Researchers analysed the health registry data of the 1 million women over a long period of time – first in 2000 and then for every six years following.
But, while the findings seem alarming, experts say there’s more to the story.
it may not be THAT bitter of a pill to swallow
Speaking to The Guardian, Dr Channa Jayasena, a clinical senior lecturer in reproductive endocrinology at Imperial College London, said:
“This study raises important questions about the pill. In over a million Danish women, depression was associated with contraceptive pill use. The study does not prove [and does not claim] that the pill plays any role in the development of depression. However, we know hormones play a hugely important role in regulating human behaviour.“Given the enormous size of this study, further work is needed to see if these results can be repeated in other populations, and to determine possible biological mechanisms which might underlie any possible link between the pill and depression. Until then, women should not be deterred from taking the pill.”
Before this study was released, there were conflicting findings on the pill’s interaction with mood. This study, for example, suggested no change in mood for women on contraception, while this study found hormonal birth control actually improved mood for some females.
At the end of the day, the study is a reminder for those starting any medicine that alters hormones – keep checking yourself for changes in your physical or emotional states, and never be hesitant to consult your doc.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald.