Birth control linked to depression


KIMT News 3 – Birth control is almost an everyday topic for Dr. Charity Baker.

“I talk about it with every woman at every visit who’s a candidate for it and I talk about it with every adolescent, every teenager that comes in the office,” Dr. Baker said.

Dr. Baker with West Fork Family Medicine admits there’s a lot of unanswered questions how much birth control can affect one’s body in the long run.

“The use of the pill probably has a lot more complications, maybe even long-term consequences that we aren’t even aware of yet. Certainly can mess with neurotransmitter of the brain,” Dr. Baker said.

A new study shows birth control may lead to depression.  One million Danish women were studied.  Women taking contraceptives which use both estrogen and progestin have a 23 percent increased risk of using antidepressants.

“Are we becoming more sensitive to mental health issues versus 40 years ago when the pill came out? Nobody talked about depression, anxiety, mental health issues. The question is it really the cause of it or is we just more aware of it,” Dr. Baker stressed.

Those younger seem to have the higher risk to use antidepressants.  Girls 15 to 19 had an 80 percent chance.

“We are aware that any type of medication can make an influence on somebody mental health.  Whether that’s antidepressants, birth control, or any type of hormone supplement, any kind of medication can affect their mood,” Holly Ruter, a lead clinician with Turning Leaf Counseling said.

Ruter knows depression is a struggle many face.  Both she and Dr. Baker agree more research needs to be done before they believe the pill can lead to this type of mental struggle, but they’re happy depression is being talked about.

“I don’t know if it’s getting any worse but I think people are way more aware of it now, so we’re making a lot more attempts to help people,” Ruter said.



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