Finally, proof that birth control is linked to depression

Two years ago, I started taking birth control for the first time. And I didn't understand why, all of the sudden, I felt like I was going crazy (a fact that my then-boyfriend didn't fail to mention). I had spent the last several years getting my anxiety under control. And all of the sudden, I was back to square one.

Now, FINALLY, there is proof that, alas, I was not going crazy.

The results of a recent University of Copenhagen study have confirmed a link between hormonal contraceptives and depression.

The Guardian reports that the university tracked one million subjects for 13 years. Results of the study show that those taking the combined oral contraceptive were 23 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression and those using progestin-only birth control (the "minipill") were 34 percent more likely. Teens in the study were 80 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression. The study also found that those with pre-existing depression may find that the pill worsens their symptoms.

Nicole Lennox, Holistic Health Professional
I first heard about this study from Nicole Lennox, owner of Hello Baby Birth Services and a member of The Mind Body Collective. She was on the combination birth control pill from age 17 to 22, when she found out she was pregnant.

“Upon discovering I was pregnant, I stopped taking the pill along with my other medications (under care of my doctor). Amazingly, my mood was more stable when pregnant than had been in the previous 4.5 years,” Lennox, a Goodrich resident, told me.

“After (my daughter’s) birth, despite postpartum depression and resuming antidepressant and anti-manic medications, I still did not experience the drastic mood swings that had occurred while I was on the pill.”

Lennox now has a Mirena IUD (intrauterine device) and said the experience has been a good one. But Lennox stresses that, although it may work for her, doesn't mean it will work for everyone. Different users see different side effects. Depression is also a side effect for some Mirena IUD users as well considering Mirena IUD also changes hormones.

“As a holistic health professional, I encourage all uterus-owning people to explore their contraceptive options,” she said.

Some alternatives to hormonal contraceptives are:

Barrier methods (condoms, cervical caps, Today Sponge, diaphragms, etc.)
Paragard (copper, non-hormonal IUD)
Fertility awareness methods (FAM)
Tubal ligation (if you do not want to have children or do not want more children)
Vasectomy for your male partner (if you do not want any or more children)

“Decide what is best for you and your situation. If the BC pill is for you, then great. If it is not, you have plenty of other options,” said Lennox.

For more information on reproductive health and fertility, Lennox recommends reading "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler or visiting

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  1. I'm glad that the Mirena worked for some, you have failed to mention that when progestin-only IUDs were used, the rate doubled or tripled. Please correct your article! I had a miserable result, and not everyone will, but IUDs with hormones were clearly worse than the pills.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience! I added information to the article that IUD can cause depression and took it out of the alternative contraceptives list.

  3. Thanks Monica! I am glad to read your post. Birth rate much higher in poor countries compare to strong countries. Very good on pregnancy.

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