05-09 Hormonal contraceptives pushing women into depression

Posted in Depression, Mental Illness, Mood Disorder

Hormonal contraceptives pushing women into depression

Being one of the most common mental health disorder in the United States, there is a lot of discussion going on about depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), over 16.1 million American adults in the age group 18 and above had at least one episode of clinical depression in 2015. However, several studies have shown that only half of all depressed people seek help from doctors.

Besides increased stress and tension, there are a number of other reasons behind the rise in the number of cases of depression and other mental disorders. One of such reasons include the increased consumption of contraceptives by almost all women during their reproductive cycles, particularly in the United States. It is now being now widely accepted that contraceptives trigger mood swings that can be associated with depression.

Due to the ineffectiveness of natural family planning measures, women not ready for motherhood are resorting to contraceptives. In fact, hormonal contraceptives are probably the most commonly used contraceptives. As per many reports, contraceptives are ill popular for triggering a range of side effects, such as nausea, mile headache, mood swings, weight gain, etc.

Though studies linking contraceptive and depression have been quite limited, one of the new studies has, nevertheless, tried to address the issue and draw some concrete conclusions. And if the findings are correct, hormonal contraceptives should be used with caution.

Association between hormonal contraceptive use and clinical depression

The countrywide prospective cohort study included more than one million women living in Denmark. The objective of the study was to find a link between hormonal contraceptives and clinical depression. Using diagnosis codes and prescription codes, the study strongly suggests that there is a connection between all types of hormonal contraceptives and depression.

The study collected and tested data from the National Prescription Register and the Psychiatric Central Research Register in Denmark. All of the women under the investigation were aged 15 to 34 years (in reproductive phase). In order to determine accurate results, all women were followed up from January 2000 to December 2013. The study excluded those with pre-existing mental health problems, not consuming hormonal contraceptives due to medical reasons, etc.

The connection between hormonal contraceptive use and onset of depression were studied in two different ways. Besides evaluating women who have received a diagnosis of depression, women who were prescribed antidepressants were studied. Though the two analyses were run separately, the results were statistically equivalent.

Nonoral forms of hormonal contraceptives spike depression more than oral forms

The study found an increased risk for the preliminary use of antidepressants and development of depression. Those using different types of hormonal contraceptives had an increased risk of suffering from depression, with the risk being especially higher for adolescents in the age group 15 to 19.

Though hormonal contraceptive use had an increased risk of developing depression, the progesterone-only forms were the worst, including the intrauterine device (IUD). The IUD was in particular associated with depression among all. Compared to the oral forms, the chances of developing depression was higher for the nonoral forms of contraceptives, such as ring, patch and IUD. One important finding is that IUDs was more harmful.

Traditionally, physicians believed that an IUD affects locally and not the rest of the body. This conception may be wrong. Although the study found an increased risk of developing depression due to use of contraceptives, it is notable that the increased risk was not very significant. Only 2.2 out of 100 had developed depression after contraceptive use while 1.7 of 100 non-contraceptive users had problem.

Depression is treatable 

Although contraceptives are linked with depression, there are numerous potential clinical depression treatment in California. While contraceptives may be a matter of concern, there are some notable California depression treatment centers.

If you or any of your acquaintances have depression, do not procrastinate over taking a decision. For accessing adequate support and information, contact the Depression Treatment Centers of California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-678-0400 or chat online to get connected with us for treating depression.


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