Does This Birth Control Pill Hurt Women's 'Well-Being'?

Does This Birth Control Pill Hurt Women's 'Well-Being'?

On Medica reports that the study included 340 healthy women aged between 18 and 35 who were treated randomly over the course of three months with either contraceptive pills containing ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel, the most common form of combined contraceptive pill in Sweden and many other countries, or a placebo.

Both the groups of women were unaware which pill was given to whom. However, it was unable to establish a causal link between the pill and depression.

For example, researchers at the University of Copenhagen note women taking combined oral contraceptives were 23 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression; those using progestin-only pills were 34 percent more likely; and teens were at the greatest risk of depression, with an 80 percent increase when taking the combined pill. Hormonal birth control is tough.

Researchers, including those from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, randomly treated about 340 healthy women aged between 18 and 35 over the course of three months with either pills with no effect (placebos) or contraceptive pills containing ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel - the most common form of combined contraceptive pill in Sweden.

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In a slightly concerning statement on the institute's website, the scientists admitted that the medical community knows "surprisingly little" about how the pill can effect a woman's health, and emphasized the need for further studies into the subject.

Since the changes were relatively small, the results must be interpreted with a certain amount of caution, the researchers emphasise. 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.

Those given the drugs reported that their quality of life was significantly lower than those taking the placebo. These women reported lower levels of well-being. The findings from the study can not be generalised to other kinds of combined contraceptive pills because they may have a different risk profile and side-effects. As a result, some of these women turn to non-hormonal methods of birth control such as diaphragms, copper IUDs, condoms and cervical caps.

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