The Pill and depression

Last year, a study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen found a potential link between the contraceptive Pill and depression.

The study found that women taking both the combined Pill and the progestin-only Pill were significantly more at risk of being diagnosed with depression than those not taking any kind of hormonal contraception. The risk went up considerably when looking at adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 19.

Research by the University of Copenhagen


Kez Price, 21, said that she felt like the link between mental health and the Pill should have been better explored when she was prescribed the Pill in her teens. “I was on anti-depressants, going to therapy, and no-one told me that maybe coming off the Pill might help me with that.” She said.

“When I came off the Pill, it was literally within a month that I felt better. I felt like a dark cloud had been lifted off my shoulders.” She said.

Head researcher Øjvind Lidegaard said in the foreword of the paper that: “Health care professionals should be aware of this relatively hitherto unnoticed adverse effect of hormonal contraception.”

Kez Price, 21, from Hove

However, more research still needs to be done to find a conclusive link between the Pill and mental health. Katy Jackson, Chief Pharmacist in Brighton and Hove said the research showed a causation, but not a correlation and said it was important to distinguish between the two in medicine. “Look at the age group you’re studying. [Teenagers] are prone to mood swings by the nature of being teenagers.” She said. “We don’t want to do any scaremongering here.”

Listen below to hear more Katy Jackson.

by Katia Damborsky

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