Women Starting Contraceptive Use During Teenage Years Have Higher Risk Of Developing Depression, Study Shows

In Education

For years, there has been ongoing debate surrounding the potential link between birth control pills and depression in women. Previous studies have generated varying outcomes, but recent research, which monitored more than 250,000 women throughout their reproductive years until menopause, offers fresh insights into this matter.

Use of contraceptives during adolescence increases risk of depression

A study from Uppsala University examined data from the UK Biobank, specifically looking at women using combined contraceptive pills with estrogen and progestogen. The mechanism of operation of the pills differs with estrogen working to thin uterine walls while progestogen works by thickening cervical mucus and preventing ovulation. The research published in the Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences journal revealed that women starting these pills in their teenage years had a 130% higher chance of experiencing depression symptoms, while adult users saw a 92% increase.

In the study, lead researcher Therese Johansson suggests that hormonal changes during puberty may be a factor in the heightened impact of contraceptive pills on teenagers. The research also indicates that the increased risk of depression decreased in women who continued using these pills after two years. However, teenagers continued to face a higher risk of depression even after discontinuing pill use, unlike adults.

Contraceptives lower risk of uterine and ovarian cancer

Most women generally tolerate contraceptive pills well, with benefits like preventing unplanned pregnancies and lowering the risk of ovarian and uterine cancers. However, healthcare professionals should be mindful of a possible connection between contraceptive pills and depression, as per the study.

Johansson emphasizes that it is vital for healthcare providers informing women that want to take contraceptives of the possible risks of depressions as side effects. He added that their aim of comparing various contraceptives is to offer more information to women to assist them in making informed decisions.

The study underscores the need to recognize the link between various bodily systems, like depression and contraceptive pill usage. Future research aims to investigate different contraceptive methods’ effects, offering women better information for informed decisions.

Mobile Sliding Menu