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A study highlights a link between contraception and depression

Publié le : 14 October 2016

Women taking the pill are at greater risk of depression”, according to a Danish study published in the JAMA Psychiatry.

 

Charlotte WesselSkovlund from the University of Copenhagen and her team have analysed the data of a million women between 15 and 34 years of age, with no history of depression, over half of whom took a hormone contraceptive during the study.

 

The research has shown that “oral contraceptives increase the risk of requiring antidepressant medication or being diagnosed with depression by 23%”. For the progestogen-only pill, this risk is 34 %, for the contraceptive patch 100%, for the vaginal ring 60% and the IUD 40%.

 

Furthermore, the risk of depression varies with age: adolescents are mostly affected. The risk of depression is increased by 80% in this age category with combined oral contraceptives and by 120% with the prosgestogen-only pill.

 

The comments temper these results, which establish an “association”, not a cause-effect relationship, between contraception and depression. However, these data “obviously encourage more research”. Because “if this result were to be confirmed, depression could be added to the list of side effects associated with hormone contraceptives”.

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