Use of Contraceptive Pills Allegedly Increase Risk for Depression

Contraceptive pills have long been used by women to prevent pregnancy but a new study claims that it can elevate a woman’s risk for depression in addition to its known physical side effects.

After studying multiple types of female contraception, researchers at the University of Copenhagen found out that the most common type of contraceptive pills, progestogen-only pill increases one’s chances of using antidepressants by 34%. They also discovered that contraceptive patch elevates and individual’s risk by 100%, while the vaginal ring increases the risk by 60%. Meanwhile, the intrauterine system (IUS) ups the risk by 40%.


The study, which was published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, looked into more than 1 million Danish women aged 15 to 32, whose health records were tracked for over a 13-year period.

Their findings also suggested that adolescent girls, those between age 15 and 19, were the highest risk group on the combined group. Eighty percent of them were more likely to require anti depressants.

Study co-author Dr Ojvind Lidegaard said in a statement: “We have to realize among all the benefits, external hormones (also) may have side effects. And the risk of depression is one of them.”

Despite the risk it entails, the study did not conclude that the pill is not a good form of contraception. In fact, the contraceptive pill is more than 99% effective if taken effectively.

What are the side effects of a contraceptive pill?

Majority of the pill’s side effects are not serious, here are some of its common side effects:

  • weight gain
  • swollen or sore breasts
  • nausea
  • spotting between periods
  • mood changes
  • lighter periods

However, if you experience the following symptoms, you need to contact your physician immediately.

  • stomach pain
  • chest pain
  • severe headaches
  • blurred vision
  • swelling or aching in the legs as well as thighs
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