NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was good news Monday for women concerned about side effects from certain types of birth control.
A new study finds that depression isn’t related to hormonal contraceptives, including pills, hormonal releasing implants, and IUDs. Previous research seemed to show a link between the two, but the latest study shows no cause and effect for depression.
Gina Carlomagno has suffered with depression in the past and worried about how hormonal birth control might affect her mood.
“Sometimes with those hormonal imbalances when you’re trying to adjust to a new birth control, sometimes those emotions get, you know, out of whack,” she said.
It’s a fear doctors hear about often from patients.
“We live in a very media-savvy age and a digital media presence where if one person or a few people end up having a severe side effect from a medication, all of a sudden, that really gets amplified to every single person,” Dr. Brett Worly from Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center said.
To ease patient concerns, Dr. Worly and his team reviewed thousands of studies on the mental health effects of contraceptives. Their research included data tied to various methods of birth control, including pills, injections and implants, and in every instance their findings were the same.
“The biggest misconception is that hormonal contraception leads to depression,” Dr. Worly said. “For most patients, that just doesn’t seem like it’s the case.”
Researchers reviewed the use of birth control in adolescents, postpartum women, and those who have a history of depression.
“Overwhelmingly, this is a safe method and women should feel comfortable making this choice,” Dr. Worly said. He believes patient concerns are valid, and wants women to continue having an open and honest discussion with their doctor.”
It’s something that offers women like Gina a new sense of hope.
“He goes over the facts. He went through everything with me, and I kind of felt, alright, I feel confident that this is the best choice for me right now,” she said.
The progesterone pills are not available in the United States, but the other methods are. It doesn’t mean that women using these hormonal methods can’t develop depression, just that it’s not likely due to the contraceptives.
Some populations warrant monitoring throughout, including adolescents and those who are already depressed.