A recent international study indicated that oral contraceptives raise the risk of depression. Teenagers were at the highest risk, with a 130% higher risk of depression in women who began using birth control as adolescents, compared to a 92% higher risk concerning those who started as adults.
BREAKING: In a study of over 230,000 women, researchers find that women who started birth control as teens are at a 130% increased risk of depression
It’s no surprise that altering a normal part of a women’s biology with drugs causes bad outcomes.https://t.co/cF0KcWIkQQ
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) June 13, 2023
The study presents conclusive results towards a growing body of research connecting oral birth control with using anti-depressants, depression diagnoses, and depressive symptoms.
Although adult users saw a decrease to more normal risk upon using birth control for over two years or not using birth control, teenage users were still at high risk even after stopping usage.
Therese Johansson of the Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology at Uppsala University, a prominent researcher on the study, explained that the high risk to female teenagers could be caused by their recent experiences in puberty.
“The powerful influence of contraceptive pills on teenagers can be ascribed to the hormonal changes caused by puberty. As women in that age group have already experienced substantial hormonal changes, they can be more receptive not only to hormonal changes but also to other life experiences,” Johansson said.
The study looked into combination birth control pills, but researchers plan to examine other contraceptive options.
“In a future study, we plan to examine different formulations and methods of administration. Our ambition in comparing different contraceptive methods is to give women even more information to help them [m]ake well-informed decisions about their contraceptive options,” Johansson said.
“Our ambition in comparing different contraceptive methods is to give women even more information to help them take well-informed decisions about their contraceptive options,” Johansson added.
A news release from Uppsala University noted that the study shows “a need for healthcare professionals to be more aware of possible links between different systems in the body, such as depression and the use of contraceptive pills.”
Birth control methods have also been connected to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, breast cancer, and cervical cancer in separate studies.
Despite growing evidence of risk, researchers insist that birth control is “safe,” such as Johansson, who argues that the contraceptive does not cause women to experience “negative effects on their mood,” and can help them avoid “unplanned pregnancies.”