The Pill and Depression
Q: I have recently heard that taking the birth control pill
can help with depression and moodiness. Is there any truth to this?
Thank you for your time, Heather
Dr. Donnica: The answer is "it depends." Birth control
pills are often successful in reducing depressive or moodiness symptoms associated
with PMS or with perimenopause. They have not been shown to reduce the
depressive symptoms of true depression. In fact, in some women, birth control
pills can worsen those symptoms.
Different pills may also have different effects. In general, the "stronger"
the progesterone component of the Pill, the more likely depressive symptoms
are to worsen. If you think you have depression, I recommend that you
talk with your primary care physician or a mental health professional to get
the specific advice you need and deserve regarding the treatment of your depression,
as well as your contraceptive needs.
Click here for more information about contraception.
Click here for more information about depression or other mental
With best regards,
Donnica Moore MD
Created: 9/15/2002  - Donnica Moore, M.D.