Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe
4 minute read
2 Mar 2020
12:25 pm

What you need to know about the link between the pill and depression

Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe

Depression has been shown to be one of the most common reasons women stop taking birth control pills.

Picture: iStock

The many synthetic hormones found in most birth control methods can cause problems with your moods. All hormonal options contain some amount of a lab formulated version of oestrogen and progesterone, the two hormones that, along with testosterone, control your menstrual cycles. Occasionally traditional hormonal birth control can exacerbate depression and anxiety because of the effect hormones have on the intricate balance of serotonin, dopamine, GABA and norepinephrine, all feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain. Oestrogen in particular plays a role in depression, with too little causing a dip in serotonin — and once this happens, the ovaries produce less oestrogen,...