Study Tracks Association of Hormonal Contraception with Suicide Attempts & Suicides

Published on November 30, 2017

Studies continue to identify a relationship between the use of different hormonal contraceptives and women’s mood swings, depression, anxiety, and other symptoms.

In a new study published by the American Journal of Psychiatry, “[among] nearly half a million women followed on average for 8.3 years (3.9 million person-years) with a mean age of 21 years, 6,999 first suicide attempts and 71 suicides were identified. Compared with women who never used hormonal contraceptives, the relative risk among current and recent users was 1.97 (95% CI=1.85–2.10) for suicide attempt and 3.08 (95% CI=1.34–7.08) for suicide. Risk estimates for suicide attempt were 1.91 (95% CI=1.79–2.03) for oral combined products, 2.29 (95% CI=1.77–2.95) for oral progestin-only products, 2.58 (95% CI=2.06–3.22) for vaginal ring, and 3.28 (95% CI=2.08–5.16) for patch. The association between hormonal contraceptive use and a first suicide attempt peaked after 2 months of use.” The researchers found that “[use] of hormonal contraception was positively associated with subsequent suicide attempt and suicide. Adolescent women experienced the highest relative risk.”

Find the full study here.

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