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Depressed? New Research Says Hormonal Birth Control Could Be Why


“If you have been on hormonal birth control in the past or are currently taking it and you feel like it has caused some mental health struggles for you, know that there is peace found in Jesus Christ.”


If you’ve ever wondered whether you should stop taking hormonal birth control, keep reading.

Since the pandemic of 2020, people all over the country have lost trust in the current medical system. There’s been a noticeable interest by women, especially, to do more research on common household items, toxins, vaccines, and pharmaceutical drugs — particularly hormonal birth control.

Female conservative influencers, writers, and podcast hosts have long been sounding the alarm on the little pink pill. Despite decades of media-driven endorsements, hormonal birth control poses a number of risks to women. Consider this warning from Alex Clark, host of “The Spillover” podcast, sent via Twitter in 2020:

“Birth control is one of the most problematic drugs out there. If you wanna take it, take it. But you should know how detrimental it can be to women’s health and how over-prescribed it is. If you can avoid taking it, I would.”

With widespread availability of information on the Internet and encouragement from influencers like Clark, women all over the country are taking back control of their health from a system that seemingly didn’t consider their best interest in the first place.

So what exactly is the problem with hormonal birth control? I hashed this out in detail in a previous article last year that can be read here, but there are a few new revelations that are worth knowing about. It just may seal the deal for you if you’re still on the fence about tossing the medication that gynecologists have handed out like candy for the last 60 years.

In my last article about the dangers of hormonal birth control, we covered several things. Because of modern research, we now know that birth control changes your brain structure and depletes your body of essential vitamins and minerals, resulting in sexual dysfunction, anxiety, headaches, sleepiness, and weakness. It increases your risk of cancer, triggers autoimmune disease, disrupts thyroid function, destroys your gut biome, and more.

It even changes who you’re attracted to by altering your brain chemistry (seriously, it does).

Perhaps most commonly, though, it significantly increases your risk for depression.

That’s the finding of a new study by Cambridge University published earlier this month. It determined that women who started birth control as teens are 130 percent more likely to show depression than those who have never used oral contraceptives, while women who started taking birth control in their adult years were 92 percent more likely to show depression. The study reviewed more than 250,000 women, 80.6 percent of whom had used birth control at some point in their life.

“Our findings support that OC use is causally associated with an increased risk of depression in adolescents as well as in adults, especially shortly after the initiation,” the study’s conclusion states. It strongly recommended that further research be done “to determine the cause of hormone contraceptive-precipitated depression.”

Given the fact that birth control depletes your body of vitamins, this would make sense. Perhaps Cambridge will dive deeper into this, as they should.

Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin needed to help your body produce serotonin, and it is Vitamin B that is suppressed by hormonal contraceptives. Without serotonin, you are at a higher risk for depression, and now we know that that risk is significantly higher for women who start birth control in their teenage years.

Whether you’ve taken hormonal birth control to avoid pregnancy, prevent acne, regulate your periods, or treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the truth is that there are safer and healthier options that actually get to the root cause rather than simply suppress symptoms. It’s unfortunate that doctors, who are supposed to be our primary resource for informed decision-making in healthcare, neglect to educate their patients about these risks.

One thing we know is that there is an epidemic of depression and mental health struggles among young women, and the answer may lie in hormonal birth control — and this includes pills, IUDs, injections, vaginal rings, and skin patches.

Don’t Despair — There Is Hope

If you have been on hormonal birth control in the past or are currently taking it and you feel like it has caused some mental health struggles for you, know that there is peace found in Jesus Christ.

The book of Psalms is filled with emotional toil and hardship. But there is encouragement. Psalm 29:11 says, “The Lord gives strength to his people, and the Lord blesses his people with peace.”

Those who are in Christ can trust that the Lord will sustain them with strength to endure and overcome struggles with mental health. We are to “cast all of our anxieties on Him” because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7), and we can rest in knowing that He is a God of comfort. And not just on the days when things are good, but He comforts us in our affliction, too.

Paul writes to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 1 about feeling so “utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself” (verse 8). Although you may not have endured the persecution which Paul faced, you may have felt similarly about a burden in your own life or simply felt overwhelmed by the dark clouds of depression, often for no seemingly apparent reason. The good news is that you, too, can be given peace by the same God of comfort that Paul received in his affliction.

Okay, I’ve Tossed the Birth Control. What Now?

You still have plenty of birth control alternatives that are not only better for your health, but they are also just as effective!

Here are a few:

If you want more information to learn about your body, your hormones, tracking your cycle, fertility awareness, and staying in tune with your body, I highly recommend reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. She does a great job of giving insight into the anatomical and physiological function of the female body in an understandable and entertaining way, all while encouraging women to take natural measures that will help them avoid pregnancy, conceive, and recognize changes in their hormones, phases in their cycle, and their overall health.

Follow Reagan on Twitter! @thereaganscott

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.

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