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There's evidence! The Pill does make women feel lousy

21 April 2017

He said: 'This might in some cases be a contributing cause of low compliance and irregular use of contraceptive pills.

The Swedish researchers wanted to test this hypothesis and see how birth control pills might impact a woman's life.

"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". (Progesterone, they note, has been shown to have a sedative effect on the brain.) Side effects may also play a role: 21% of the women in the birth control group reported bleeding disturbances, anxiety and mood changes, acne, or appetite changes, versus 12% in the placebo group. They stressed the pill's negative effect on quality of life should be considered of clinical importance when it comes to prescribing birth control to women.

However, these risks are small and, for most women, the benefits of the pill outweigh the risks. But massive social progress aside, a new study warns that a popular oral contraceptive is actually linked with a decrease in women's overall "well-being".

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"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.

Ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel-containing pills are among the most common form of combined oral contraceptive pills around the world because they're the least associated with a risk of blood clots, and they include brand names such as Levlen, Microgynon, Portia, and Alesse.

However, no significant increase in in depressive symptoms was observed in the study by researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, in collaboration with the Stockholm School of Economics.

They weren't told which of the pills they were taking while they were monitored for a period of three months.

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That hormonal birth control can affect a woman's mood is no surprise.

Dr. Ascher-Walsh, who was not involved in the study, says the findings aren't very surprising-especially considering that up to 40% of women do not continue on oral contraceptives once starting.

The findings reinforce earlier research and anecdotal claims that women are struggling with the side effects of the contraceptive pill.

Past year a Danish study found taking the combined pill increased the risk of women being prescribed antidepressants.

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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.

There's evidence! The Pill does make women feel lousy