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Birth control pills increase risk of depression in women

Birth control

(NaturalNews) As concerns grow about the number of Americans taking antidepressants, a new study out of Denmark points to one factor that could be contributing significantly to the problem: The study found that those taking a popular birth control pill had a 23 percent higher likelihood of being prescribed antidepressants than those who do not take birth control pills.

The risk was even higher with other forms of birth control. For example, women on the patch had twice the risk of depression. Those using the ring had a 60 percent higher risk, while those using the coil had a 40 percent higher risk.

The researchers looked at the cases of more than a million women between the ages of 15 and 34 from 2000 to 2013. The problem was particularly pronounced in teenagers. Girls aged 15 to 19 who took the combined pill, which contains a mixture of hormones, had an 80 percent higher chance of being prescribed antidepressants than non-users.

The researchers are now calling for further studies looking into depression as a side effect of using hormonal forms of contraception. In the meantime, women who do choose to go forward with hormonal contraceptives despite the risks need to look out for any changes to their mood and discuss them with their doctor.

The researchers think that the synthetic form of progesterone that is used in many of these pills, progestin, could play a role in depression, although they aren't yet sure exactly how it works.

Vicious pill-taking cycle

For many women, this could end up being a case of one pill leading to the "need" for another. Pills often do not solve people's problems, and even when they do, they bring about a host of other problems that then need to be corrected, and that appears to be the case when it comes to birth control pills. Women who take hormonal birth control pills might be a lot less likely to find themselves facing an unwanted pregnancy, and there is certainly value in that, but the trade-off is that they could find themselves contending with the very serious problem of depression.

Making matters worse is the fact that if they then turn to antidepressants to treat their birth control-induced depression, they are opening up a whole new can of worms. That's because antidepressants are causing suicide rates to soar, especially in young girls. Girls under the age of 18 actually have double the risk of suicide from taking antidepressants. These medications are also less effective in this age group, so they may be taking a very serious risk and gaining nothing. Moreover, many of the mass shootings that have taken place in recent years have also been linked to antidepressant use. This helps explain why many people are opting for cognitive behavioral therapy and other natural ways to manage depression, such as yoga, essential oils and exercise instead of turning to pills.

Higher brain cancer risk

A different birth control study out of Denmark is every bit as alarming. It found that women who take a birth control pill for more than five years have more than double the risk of getting glioma, a rare form of brain cancer. In that study, the women taking progestogen-only pills were 2.4 times more likely to get a brain tumor.

Women who are wary of the risks that come with hormonal birth control can turn to any number of non-hormonal options. Condoms are one of the most popular choices, but there are also natural birth control methods to consider. For example, calculating the period of ovulation can be accomplished via the basal body temperature method or the calendar method. These methods may require a bit more work, but there are no scary side effects to worry about!

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