What You Need To Know About Depression On Birth Control

Does birth control increase depression

There are different kinds of birth control — a good number of them are hormone-based and widely used. Some women who use hormonal birth controls such as intrauterine device (IUD), the pill or patch complain about having depression as a side effect.

The generally believed assumption that birth control fosters depression has not been confirmed because researches on this topic have produced a mixed result. In 2016, an analysis suggested that there is a link between the use of hormonal contraceptives and anti-depressant, while other studies proved otherwise.

This article aims to enlighten you on the link between depression and birth control, and what you should do when you experience other dangerous side effects.

Does birth control increase depression?

Hormones act as messengers in the body and affect a person’s health, mood, and thinking pattern. Hormonal birth control can cause mood changes which can trigger depression and other mental health symptoms.

Several articles have reported stories of people who developed depression from using birth control, but depression is a common occurrence that affects a large percentage of men and women. This goes to show that other factors could contribute to the development of depression, even when a person is on birth control.

However, some people claim that their depression stopped after they stopped using hormonal birth control. The researches in this area have produced mixed results and cannot be generally accepted since there are no confirmations.

The 2016 analysis of females in Denmark is the only research that has been able to provide strong evidence linking depression to birth control. The study focused on more than 1 million females in Denmark, and it found that those persons, especially teenagers who use hormonal birth control, are more likely to take anti-depressants later in their lives.

A 2018 retrospective study that gathered information from patients’ database suggested a potential link between some types of birth control and depression after delivery which was previously referred to as postpartum depression (PPD).

Some other researchers found that people who use birth control containing synthetic progesterone such as IUDs, implants and birth control pills during their postpartum period are likely to develop PPD.

The 2018 systematic review of the link between hormonal birth control and depression is unclear, and other studies on this link are believed to be biased because there is little evidence to support the results.

The bias in these studies linking birth control to depression is based on the fact that the definition of depression varies and there are many different types of hormonal birth control using different types of synthetic hormones.

Other risks of birth control

Birth control has its side effects like every other medication. Most people who use hormonal contraceptive say that these side effects clear off within 2 – 3 months but others say it lasts longer.

Here are possible side effects you could experience while using birth control.

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • weight gain
  • Spotting between periods
  • Sore breasts
  • Change in libido or lubrication during sex
  • Acne

Those who have underlying health conditions rarely develop the side effects listed below

  • Liver tumour
  • Heart attack
  • Loose blood clots that travel to the heart
  • Stroke

Some people use birth control pills because it controls symptoms of the menstrual cycle, but others regard this as a side effect and report that the pills affect the quality of their lives.

Having chronic headache affects the ability to work while weight gain and acne may affect a person’s self-esteem. Having sexual problems may also interfere with a relationship by reducing pleasure.

One can feel depressed due to the effect of these side effects, especially when they affect the person’s quality of life. If this is the case with you, consider talking to a trusted gynaecologist in London about other birth control options with low hormone content.

Benefits of birth control

Hormonal birth controls are effective, and when used correctly, can significantly reduce the risk of getting pregnant.

Some benefits of hormonal birth control include

  • Lighter periods
  • Lowers the risk of having infections in the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tube
  • Lower risk of developing cancer of the ovaries and endometrium
  • Reduction in endometriosis symptoms
  • Reduced pain during periods
  • Reduction in acne in some people
  • Lowe risk of ectopic pregnancy
  • Lower risk of osteoporosis and thinning of the bones

Hormonal birth control may help improve the mental health and risk of depression in people who experience severe premenstrual syndrome with intense pain or mood swings.

When you should see a doctor

Whichever kind of birth control you use, if you think it is causing you discomfort and has severe side effects on you such as depression or mood changes, you should visit you a gynaecologist in London. This is because you may need to change your choice of birth control.

While going to see your doctor for the purpose or switching birth control, consider asking the following questions.

  • Is switching to a low hormone birth control a better alternative?
  • What are the most common side effects of my current birth control method?
  • What should be done if I experience any side effect?
  • What are the most severe side effects of my current birth control method?
  • Does any health history increase the risk of my current side effects?
  • What percentage of people stop using this birth control because of side effects?


The link between depression and birth control has not been proven, and those who have depression while on birth control may have to assess their symptoms. However, if you feel you have depression using a certain type of birth control, you can talk to your doctor about getting alternative contraceptives. You can also speak to a professional if you are depressed.

If you need a trusted gynaecologist in London to discuss your birth control option, call Gynae Clinic on 020 71831049 to book an appointment.