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Hormones are the body’s messengers, carrying chemicals from the blood to the organs and tissues. They affect almost every part of your body, but their impact on the brain is perhaps the most confounding.
Estrogen brings mood disruptions, premenstrual syndrome, and even depression.
Progesterone is a depressant when it becomes imbalanced, too, so clinical trials began to emerge in the mid-Noughties linking birth control pills to major depressive disorder, particularly among adolescent users. Any hormone produces symptoms if your levels are pushed off their usual trajectory.
It’s why menstruation probably isn’t your favorite time of the month and why so many women feel more emotionally balanced after menopause.
Let’s take a closer look at the contraceptive pill’s effect on your state of mind.
Understanding the Birth Control Pills
Hormonal contraception isn’t all made alike. The combination birth control pills contains relatively low dosages of both estrogen and progestin. While it can affect your mental health, it’s low hormone content will cause less severe symptoms than a heavier dose hormonal contraceptive such as the Depo-Provera shot or implant.
The traditional minipill contains progestin, but not estrogen, so it’s more closely linked to depression than combination pills. Low dose minipills may be a solution for you if the combination pill doesn’t suit your system.
Some birth control pills are monophasic, giving you the same dose of hormone daily. Multi-phasic pills try to replicate your body’s natural cycle, so the active pills have variable hormone levels depending on the time of the month.
While bipolar patients are often advised to use a monophasic contraceptive, this won’t necessarily be the best course of action if you’re prone to depression. Your doctor will probably begin looking for the right contraceptive by first reducing the amount of progestin you take.
Extensive trials have, however, linked combined contraceptive pills with a 1.23 times higher depression risk.
Yet another study found that depressive symptoms were less severe when estradiol levels were lower.
Unfortunately, trial and error is the only completely reliable way to find out how your mood will respond.
Other Mood Problems
Oral contraception has been linked to panic disorder and generalized anxiety, but not in the ways you might expect. A large meta-study found that anxiety patients on oral contraceptives had a lower past-year prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder than those who weren’t on hormonal birth control.
Also Read: 5 Easy Ways to Relieve Stress for Women
The news isn’t all good, however, birth control hormones might cause mood swings, anger, and annoyance. Your mood swings might start just before your period, but it’s a good idea to keep a mood diary. It will go a long way towards pinpointing which hormones are causing the problem.
When you have that information, your doctor will have a better idea of whether mini, combination or multi-phasic birth control pills will stabilize your emotional landscape.
How it Works
Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression, but their risk only increases after puberty is reached. That tells us one important fact: hormones and depression are closely linked.
Estrogen shifts due to pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome, and perimenopause raise and decrease your depression risk, but to date, it remains difficult to precisely measure hormonal impact. Clinical trials on the topic are extremely limited, and it’s not as easy to measure mental health outcomes as it is diabetes or heart disease.
This is a path every woman must navigate with her doctor, and that requires you to listen to yourself and your feelings. That’s not a lesson too many women are taught as they grow up, but with a mood diary and a doctor who’s open to believing your symptoms, you will eventually find the right birth control pill for your needs.
You might even find that the birth control pills aren’t worth the emotional mayhem it causes you. Finding the best pill for your needs is a hard journey, so be kind to yourself always.
So This was it for today. I hope you have loved reading about Birth Control Pills and Emotional Swings associated with them interesting and found this full of information.
Have a Good Day! 😇
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