Home » Women 'at increased risk of depression' if they take hormonal contraceptives

Women 'at increased risk of depression' if they take hormonal contraceptives

Depressed woman - woman taking the pill GETTY

Women taking hormonal contraceptives have a higher risk of depression

data from more than one million women in Denmark showed that those in the most popular type of pill were 23 percent more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant than nonusers.

contraceptive patches delivering a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone through the skin than double the risk, while the ring and coil rose by 60 percent and 40 percent respectively.

adolescents who take the pill appeared to be more vulnerable than older women.

Depression was associated with pill use

Dr. Channa Jayasena

Scientists suspect a relationship with progesterone, which has been shown to have a negative effect on mood during the menstrual cycle.

The Danish researchers, led by Dr. Øjvind Lidegaard from the University of Copenhagen, wrote in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry: “Further studies are needed to examine depression as a potential adverse effect of using hormonal contraceptives. ”

a British expert said the study raised “important questions”, while another urged women not to be alarmed by the results.

Woman with a contraceptive patch GETTY

contraceptive patches provide a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone

in 2000, nearly four million women in the UK were taking the pill according to the Family Planning Association (FPA) sexual health charity.

for the study, researchers analyzed data from national registries in Denmark, which included more than one million adolescent girls and adult women aged 15 to 34.

During an average period six years, showed that participants taking combined oral contraceptives containing a mixture of hormones to be 23 percent more likely than nonusers to be treated with antidepressants for the first time.

users of progestin-only pills that rely on synthetic progesterone had a 34 percent greater risk. Women who use contraceptive patches also contain progestin, they were twice at risk.

For adolescents aged 15 to 19, use of the combined pill took 80 percent more likely to be prescribed antidepressants

relative risk of having a diagnosis of depression reflects those to be treated for the condition

Dr. Channa Jayasena, of the Endocrine Society and the Imperial College London, said: .. “this study raises important questions about the pill more. one million Danish women, depression was associated with the use of the contraceptive pill.

“the study does not prove (and not intended) that the pill plays no role in the development of depression. However, we know that hormones play an important role in regulating human behavior.

Teen taking the pill GETTY • posed by MODEL

Adolescents who take the combined pill had a greater chance of antidepressants that are prescribed

“Given the enormous size of this study, further work is needed to see if these results can be repeated in other populations, and to determine possible biological mechanisms that could be the basis of any possible relationship between the pill and depression.

“Until then, women should not be deterred from taking the pill.”

Dr. Ali Kubba, at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said that despite the known evidence that hormonal contraception can affect moods of women, the study did not demonstrate a causal relationship

adding: “. women should not be alarmed by this study as all women react differently to different methods of contraception.

“There are a variety of contraceptive methods offered as the pill, implants, injections, intrauterine devices and vaginal rings and therefore we advise women to discuss your options with a doctor, which will discuss the possible side effects and decisions around the most appropriate method can be done together. “

he said

the authors of the study, both progesterone and his wife sex hormone estrogen partner were suspected of playing a role in depression.

progesterone or metabolites decomposing chemicals, have shown to affect an important inhibitory system in the central nervous system.

metabolites levels also increased after ovulation during the menstrual cycle and some women experience negative moods at this time.

Woman taking the pill GETTY

researchers analyzed data from more than a million teenage girls and adult women aged 15 to 34

findings support the theory that progesterone could be linked to depression because “progestin dominates combined and progestin-only contraceptives,” the researchers


and added: “.. the highest risk among women using the transdermal patch and vaginal ring compared with the corresponding pill is probably a matter of dose rather than the route of administration”

Woman taking the pill GETTY

research tells all women react differently to taking hormonal contraceptives


FPA Natika Halil said :. “We welcome new research that can give us a better understanding about contraception – ultimately, the more we know about the different methods and what might be its effects, the most informed women are when it comes to making decisions

“they know that many women using hormonal contraceptives without problems, and we would not like to see women concerned about this study to abruptly stop using your hormonal method because it will leave you at risk of unwanted pregnancy . “

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