There are people whose mood is not at all festive: incomprehensible depression for no apparent reason does not relax. What is the reason? It is said that taking hormonal contraceptives can cause depression in women. Is it so?
Hormonal contraception: undeniable benefits
Hormonal contraception firmly entered our lives. Many years have passed since the first pills appeared that could prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Since then, much has changed. It’s time to sum up.
What are the advantages of combined oral contraceptives?
- This is one of the most reliable methods of contraception, subject to the rules of their admission;
- They are very convenient to use;
- Allow to reduce the number of abortions and related complications;
- The risk of menstrual disorders, the formation of cysts in the ovaries, inflammation of the pelvic organs, ectopic pregnancy, uterine fibroids, benign breast tumors, osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, rheumatoid arthritis and some other pathologies are reduced.
Before using hormonal contraceptives, it is obligatory to consult a gynecologist, and in some cases an endocrinologist and other related specialists. In addition, there are contraindications to the use of hormonal contraceptives in general, or these restrictions apply to certain groups of drugs. It is difficult and wrong for a woman to figure out on her own whether hormonal contraceptives can be taken and which ones. This is the task of the female doctor.
Disadvantages of hormonal contraception
However, hormonal contraceptives are still chemically created substances that in the body enter into different reactions. Consequently, in addition to contraception, they have other effects. There are undesirable effects of tablets, which in all patients are expressed in varying degrees and in different combinations. Someone does not notice the side effects at all. And someone even has to abandon this method of protection from unwanted pregnancy. But in advance it is impossible to predict how the drug will be transferred to each specific patient. Even cases of genetic sensitivity to individual components of the drug are described.
There is still a significant drawback in this method: it does not protect against genital infections. Therefore, it is recommended to use hormonal contraception, or in combination with barrier methods, or be regularly checked for sexually transmitted infections by both partners, not to lead a promiscuous sex life.
Side effects of the nervous system
According to the classification of side effects, the most common adverse reactions include mental disorders: frequent mood swings, depression, decreased sexual desire for a partner. These effects are associated with the influence of the gestagen component of the drug. It is believed that transient depression while taking COCs occurs in no more than 6% of women. This figure may vary depending on the particular drug. All hormonal contraceptives differ from each other both in composition and in doses of active substances.
Studies concerning the study of the side effects of hormonal contraceptives on the female body show that a greater number of side effects disappear during the first three months of taking the drug. This applies to both side effects from the nervous system and other systems. If you save pronounced side effects for a longer time, it is recommended to consult a gynecologist to determine whether the reactions that have occurred are related to the use of contraceptives, or for other reasons. If a connection is identified with a hormonal drug, the question of its replacement or cancellation will be decided.
Is there a relationship between the side effects of the drug and the general state of health of the woman? Yes there is. Studies have been carried out that can predict a greater risk of the occurrence of certain side effects depending on what chronic diseases the woman has initially. As for depression, such a risk factor is the presence of hypothyroidism (reduced thyroid function). That is, the occurrence of depression while taking COCs may become an indication for examination by an endocrinologist.
What is depression?
It is difficult to determine the true number of depressive conditions in women taking combined oral contraceptives. Depression cannot be traced laboratory, it cannot be put on ultrasonography (ultrasound examination), and on the X-ray picture the depression is also not visible. Accordingly, it is necessary either to rely on the patient’s data from a psychiatrist, or to conduct a survey of patients in order to find out the frequency of depressive disorders.
Can you trust the survey? This moment is very controversial. After all, each in its own way understands the term “depression.” Even though this word has become very fashionable even among teenagers, it is still a psychiatric diagnosis. Someone decides that he is depressed because he does not want to go to work in the morning and see his colleagues. Someone cries every day for any reason, while others even attend suicidal thoughts. Do each of these people have depression?
However, even the presence of true depression in a girl or woman does not mean that it is caused by taking hormonal contraceptives. It is important to see what happens in her life? Perhaps, she works in three jobs and barely makes ends meet in order to feed the older child? Maybe she recently lost a loved one or experienced a betrayal? The occurrence of depression in such circumstances of life is understandable. And in this case, it is not a change of contraceptive that is required, but specialized assistance from a psychiatrist and a psychologist. The obstetrician-gynecologist, the receptionist at the clinic, does not have enough time to talk heart to heart with each patient, and this is not his responsibility.