In general, most people know and accept the following facts:
One, that both the presence and severity of mental illness are affected by the hormones in our brains.
Two, that hormonal birth control operates by intentionally disrupting your hormonal and endocrine function.
Three, that the lifetime prevalence of depression is twice as high in women as it is in men among various populations.
Millions of women have cited side effects ranging from occasional mood changes to severe depression as the result of taking hormonal birth control. That said, it seems almost obvious that hormonal birth control ought to be studied with a focus to its connection to depression. However, there is a shocking lack of studies and research on the correlation of birth control use and depression.
In response to this lack of information, a Danish research group conducted a nationwide study of more than a million women ages 15-34 in Denmark over a 14-year period. Their findings show that women who used hormonal contraception had an increased likelihood of depression and consequently, use of antidepressant medication in the future, especially among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19.
Because of the hormonal fluctuations that occur throughout a woman’s reproductive life from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, women already possess a higher susceptibility to the development of mood disorders, in relation to that of men.
The study showed that this increased susceptibility, particularly during puberty and development, may cause women to be more adversely affected by hormonal birth control.
Overall, there are more remaining questions about birth control than answers, specifically regarding side and long-term effects. Medical professionals need to know how prescribing hormonal contraception to women, especially in adolescence, can be damaging to both their physical and mental health.
If you want to learn natural and evidence-based methods to manage your fertility, FEMM offers 1-on-1 fertility support online and in-person as well as access to a directory of FEMM Medical Practitioners who can help you achieve or avoid pregnancy. FEMM can help you reach hormonal balance through restorative endocrinology.