Now There's New Hope.

Does Taking Birth Control Pills Lead to Depression?

When women stop taking their birth control pills, depression is often noted as the main reason why. Even though women will commonly report that they feel more depressed when on birth control, it has not been completely explained scientifically. So, the question remains, if you are depressed while on birth control pills, can this be attributed to the medication, and should you stop taking it?


Birth Control pills consist of hormones which alter the way your reproductive system works. This is how they accomplish the goal of preventing pregnancy. Science has found a way to create artificial estrogen and progesterone, hormones which prevent an egg from being released from an ovary, which is referred to as “ovulation”. These hormones also cause a thickening of the mucous in the cervix, effectively creating a blockade that works to stop the sperm from making its way to the uterus, where fertilization of the egg occurs.

Along with the benefits of birth control pills, comes side effects; two of these side effects are mood swings and depression. While studies continue to result in conflicting reports of depression and birth control pills, women continue to tell their doctors that they are more prone to depression when they are on birth control.


One study, which showed that depression is the most reported reason women cease taking the pill, stated that women using combination birth control pills were far more depressed than the control group (the women not taking birth control pills). Even so, the link between birth control and depression has not been scientifically confirmed.

While researchers may not be able to point directly at birth control when considering the reasons for depression in women, it is still a fact that around 12 million women are clinically depressed in the United States in any given year. Because there is no way to trace how many of these women are or are not taking birth control pills, the connection remains unclear. However, it is assumed that a large number of the depressed women are most likely on birth control pills.

In the past, it has been observed that the prior studies were working on ineffective data, such as self-reporting and insufficient numbers of subjects. But recently, a study met high-quality standards and has rendered itself believable. It involved Danish women 14 and up, and utilized tracking with diagnosis codes and records of prescriptions. This study strongly indicates that there is indeed an increased risk of depression when using all types of hormonal contraception.


Even though it has not been scientifically proven, the risk of depression is stated on many pamphlets included within birth control packaging.

No matter what the cause, depression is a difficult disorder to live with, and can be a daily struggle. When traditional medication fails, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is an FDA approved option that is covered by most insurance. If depression is getting the best of you, please contact TMS Neuro Solutions as soon as possible to find out if it is the best option for you.