A study published in recent days in the JAMA Psychatry Journal, a publication of the American Medical Association, puts the focus on the direct relationship between consumption of female contraceptives and depression. It is not the first time that there is talk of it, and even many prospectuses warn about this side effect, but never before as detailed and extensive as the current study had been conducted. These are some of the conclusions that can be drawn:
Different methods of contraception and depression
The most common type of oral contraceptive is the combined pill, i.e., the containing two hormones: estrogen and progestin. According to the study, women who consume it have a 23% more likely to need antidepressants women who do not take them. The figure rises to 34% in the case of the pill without estrogen (known as mini pill).
The data on the patch they are amazing. 100% of the women tested had higher risk of needing treatment for depression than those that did not use it. The data are also high on vaginal ring (60%) and the IUD (40%).
The data on the possibility of depression in adolescents (between 15 and 19 years) taking the combined pill is one of them that has caused more alarm: 80% of them were susceptible to it.
Then, does the pill cause depression? There is no evidence of this. What stands out in this study is the proven correlation between contraceptives and mental health problems. In 2013, a study warned of the changes in the mood of women taking the combined pill.
Lights and shadows of the study
The study, carried out in Denmark, is the largest that has been done to date on this issue. It has been conducted over more than one million women aged between 15 and 34 years, studying their medical records over a period of 13 years. There is therefore little doubt on the validity of the sample,.
But there is something that does not consider the study: there are studies showing that adolescent girls who have sex are more likely to suffer depression. Therefore, it is difficult to discern whether high rates of relationship between depression and birth control seen in adolescents is due to the methods used or the fact of sexual intercourse.
In any case, will be the gynecologist who can better advise every woman in the most appropriate contraceptive method for it. And deal with any emotional disorder that arises if there is involved contraceptives. Seek medical advice is, always, the best choice of health.