PregnancyWomen's Health

Use of Birth Control Pill is Declining as it Affects the Mental Health of Women

At the age of 19, the primary physician of Sophia DuRose prescribed a birth control pill for regulating her periods. After taking the pill she felt the changes in her mood drastically.

DeRose said that she felt that she is not enjoying the things normally as she enjoyed previously. The things made me sad and I felt too exhausted to care about them.

DeRose started to search for another option because like other women who take contraceptives experience the side effects including libido, migraines, nausea, weight gain and changes in mood.

According to an estimation by CDC, in the United States, 6 million women take oral contraceptives for birth control. The use of oral contraceptives drops among the women aged 15-44 to 13.9% from 15.9% between the years 2011 and 2015. In the year 2013,62.9% of women stop using oral contraceptives due to facing adverse effects.

During these years the other methods for birth control become more popular including intrauterine devices, female sterilization, and contraceptives implant. Male sterilization is equally important in control the birth, but it is not as popular as the other methods in the U.S.

There is a lack of understanding and research in this field whether the birth control pill puts a negative effect on the moods, or it has some positives marks. Besides this, the main concerning area of research is to find the effects of birth control on the adolescent brain. The effect of birth control is varying according to the type of the method or the pill that was used by the women.

In 2016 a study on a large scale was conducted to see the effects of birth control on mental health. The study was conducted by the researcher at the University of Copenhagen. It was found that more than 1 million Danish women using hormonal contraceptives, also take antidepressants for the first time. But these findings are unclear as they are unable to find the factor which drives the risk for life changes.

According to Michael Lipton, a neuroradiologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine that contraceptives have a great effect on the brain. It mainly affects the hypothalamus that controls the various motions, sleep cycle, appetite, temperature and sex desires.

Lipton observed that there is a 6% difference between the hypothalamus of the women who are taking pills for birth control and who are not taking. This difference is noticeable because the brain is so sensitive in composition and structure.

He found that during the development of the brain the progesterone plays an important role in the complexity of the brain but if we are taking the oral contraceptives or other related pills they interfere with this phenomenon and it ultimately affects the tissue volume which results in a feeling of anger and depression.

Rachael Polis is a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist at Crozer Keystone Health System. She screened her patients whether she is depressed or not before prescribing the birth control pill. She also asked patients if they go through any phase of life like moving on or divorce.

She asked patients to observe the side effects that are due to the other events of life after taking a pill. The one treatment which is not working for one patient may prove great in the other case. So, it is necessary to observe the patient’s personal life and attitude before and after prescribing the birth control method.

C.W. Kennedy has tried 15 types of birth control pills over the years through various studies in the area. Kennedy began working with researchers when she first moved to Philadelphia 14 years ago because she didn’t have health insurance.

Also read- China sentences 3 researchers involved in gene-edited babies for 3 years in prison

C.W. Kennedy tried 15 pills of birth control for many years to study the effects of the different pills. In 2017, when she was 35, stop taking the pill because she conceived and deliver a daughter. After the breastfeeding session has completed, she started to take the birth control pill for stopping the hair loss and to observe the changes in mood swings.

According to her one part of my brain make me feel sad and depressed and others were like that’s not really me. But she tried to manage these side effects and soon her hair loss stopped and there was a decrease in the depression.

She said that some pills are good for one person but not for the other one at the same time. So, it is important to match the chemistry of you with a pill that is going to take.

In the case of DeRose, as she was taking the pill had more side effects on the mental health, so she tried the other two brands before going to the hormonal IUD as one of his friends told her about the copper IUD. It releases the progestin in the localized area of the uterus. She felt pain after taking it but mentally it makes her feel better.

Different pills have different side effects and adjustments in different individuals. There should a proper way of checking the pill which is best in the person who is taking it.


Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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