Birth Control Pills Can Make Women Feel Awful, Study Finds

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According to Hirschberg and her colleagues, the consumption of combined oral contraceptive pills can affect women's lives in many ways.

A new study carried out at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Stockholm School of Economics, highlights a probable link between usage of birth control pills and the well-being of women. This is the most common form of combined contraceptive pill in Sweden because it carries the least risk of thrombosis - blood clots in the circulatory system.

Can Contraceptive Pills Impact A Woman's Quality Of Life?

Researcher Niklas Zethraeus told The Sun the results may be down to irregular use of the pill but said: "This possible degradation of quality of life should be paid attention to and taken into account in conjunction with prescribing of contraceptive pills and when choosing a method of contraception". The effects are so palpable that a recent trial of male birth control was put on hold after many men dropped out because they felt very bad. Their wellbeing was reported to be lower, as was mood, self control and energy levels.

However, these risks are small and, for most women, the benefits of the pill outweigh the risks.

They found that women who took the contraceptives reported overall reduced feelings of well-being, including negative impacts on their mood, self-control, and energy, compared to those who took a placebo.

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Interestingly, the study found no increase in symptoms of depression among the women taking the birth control. Women have always known that this form of contraception might not be the best option to consider. They experienced sudden changes of mood, felt no longer in control of themselves and less energetic.

"We do not want women to stop using oral contraceptives due to our results but if a woman is anxious about negative influence on mood and life quality she should discuss this with a doctor", noted Hirschberg.

The researchers also said that the findings can't be generalised to other kinds of contraceptive pills.

A Danish study past year found that women using the contraceptive pill were more likely to be depressed than those who did not.

Now a randomised, placebo-controlled study may prove them right, finding those taking the combined pill do experience a drop in wellbeing.

Writing in the journal Fertility and Society, they said the results must be approached with caution as the study was small. (About 7% of both groups had moderate to severe depressive symptoms, both before and after the three-month period.) Previous studies have linked hormonal birth control to depression, however, including a 2016 Danish study of more than 1 million women.

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