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Taking The Contraceptive Pill 'Makes Women Miserable', New Study Finds
21 April 2017, 02:15 | Rodolfo Wallace
Should You Stop Taking Your Birth Control? Oral Contraceptive Pills May Decrease Quality Of Life In Women
Every day, many women take the pill as their number one form of birth control.
Now, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden in collaboration with the Stockholm School of Economics suggest a possible link between oral contraceptive pills and women's overall wellbeing.
The etinylestradiol and levonorgestrel pill is generally recommended as the first-line choice in many countries, since it is considered to be the combined contraceptive pill associated with the least risk of thrombosis among the combined contraceptive pills.
Can Contraceptive Pills Impact A Woman's Quality Of Life?
Despite this, participants who took the contraceptive pill - which included the components ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel - estimated their quality of life to be significantly lower than those who took the placebo. It can negatively impact a woman's energy levels, well-being, and also cause heavy mood swings. Before treatment, about 35% of both groups reported moderate to severe distress in general well-being; afterward, that number rose to 38% in the placebo group, and 44% in the birth control group.
Birth control pills may have done some very good stuff - oh, you know, ushering in the sexual revolution and giving women unprecedented control over their reproductive lives.
Also, the study only looked at women over three months - it will require longer monitoring to get a more accurate idea of how the contraceptive pill affects women.
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For example, researchers at the University of Copenhagen note women taking combined oral contraceptives were 23 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression; those using progestin-only pills were 34 percent more likely; and teens were at the greatest risk of depression, with an 80 percent increase when taking the combined pill.
The findings reinforce earlier research and anecdotal claims that women are struggling with the side effects of the contraceptive pill.
The researchers caution, though, that the effect was small - and it's important to remember that only one method of contraception was studied, so the results can not be applied more broadly.
Dr. Lindén Hirschberg says that the findings should not discourage doctors from prescribing birth control, but that they should discuss these potential effects with patients-"particularly with those who have previous experience of mood disorders", she told Health.com via email.
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