The pill is a pretty incredible little invention.
It’s one of the most widely used forms of contraception and is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy if you take it according to the guidelines.
But what about the side effects? Does birth control make you moody?
Can oral hormonal birth control make you feel better or worse emotionally?
There isn’t a definitive yes or no here. Every body is different, and we all respond to contraceptives in different ways.
Some studies have found that four to ten percent of women experience mood swings on oral birth control.
But other studies have found that hormonal contraceptives actually reduce symptoms of depression, including mood swings.
There are also other kinds of hormonal birth control besides the pill.
The implant, the injection, the IUD, and the vaginal ring all affect your hormones.
A 2016 study concluded that any hormonal birth control method could contribute to depression, backing up the well-known understanding that estrogen and progesterone have an influence on brain function.
And is linked to the potential mood changes associated with contraceptives.
So, knowing what we know, let’s dive deeper and get you informed (and validated).
In this article: 📝
- Can birth control make you angry?
- Can birth control make you tired and moody?
- Will mood swings from birth control go away?
- Is there a connection between birth control and depression?
- What is the best birth control for mood stability?
- When should you talk to your doctor about mood swings on birth control?
Can birth control make you angry?
Some women report feeling depressed, anxious, and, yes, angry on hormonal birth control. 😤
A 2023 study highlighted that mood changes were one of the most commonly reported side effects while using hormonal contraceptives.
While anger was not specifically listed as a mood change symptom in the study, hormones can affect us in a variety of ways.
It might make you more irritable and thus angry.
Can birth control make you tired and moody?
Fatigue is quite a common side effect and can depend on the level of hormones in the contraceptive you’re taking.
Some women also feel moody, but it can be difficult to tell if this is only caused by birth control or if there are other factors at play.
Will mood swings from birth control go away?
It usually takes about two to three months for your body to adjust to the new hormones of the pill, and it’s possible that you’ll feel better after that.
But if your mood swings don’t go away, speak to your doctor.
You might not be reacting well to the hormone levels in the contraceptive type you are taking, or maybe hormones are not for you.
There are other non-hormonal options you can try.
Is there a connection between birth control and depression?
It’s not always easy to differentiate correlation with causation.
The Harvard Study of Moods and Cycles found that, of the 658 women who took part:
- 16.3% felt that their mood worsened on birth control
- 12.3% experienced an improvement in their mood
- 71.4% had no change to their mood at all
There’s some evidence that the risk of feeling depressed on birth control is higher if you have a history of depression or psychiatric conditions.
While this is not necessarily reassuring, it shouldn’t be a reason not to take it.
You should always discuss your options with your doctor as they might direct you to certain contraceptive types that have a lower risk of mood side effects.
The World Health Organization has no restrictions on using any type of birth control if you have experienced depression before.
You probably won’t know for sure how it’s going to make you feel until you start taking it.
When you do begin, track your emotional response.
This can help you to understand its effects on you.
Having a record can also be useful if you want some advice from a doctor down the line.
And here’s the plot twist.
In some cases, birth control has been shown to make those who experience severe PMS-related mood swings and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) feel better.
If you feel depressed, angry, confused, or irritable before or during your period, hormonal birth control might be able to help you.
What is the best birth control for mood stability?
If you’re looking for an option that may help with mood, try using a combination birth control pill that contains ethinyl estradiol and drospirenone.
This unique combination has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for pre-menstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD).
(Yaz and Beyaz are the only birth control pills that have currently been approved to treat PMDD.)
Monophasic birth control pills (pills that have the same amount of hormones in every pill) deliver a steady stream of hormones and can also help to keep your mood swings in check—as can the hormonal IUD as the hormones aren’t meant to enter the blood circulation.
When should you talk to your doctor about mood swings on birth control?
If you’re worried about the effect of birth control on your mental health, chat with your doctor before you start taking the pill or another form of hormonal contraceptive.
They’ll be able to advise you which one you should take.
And if you’re already taking birth control and experiencing mood swings, one way to alleviate them is simply changing your contraceptive.
Other habits you can incorporate into your life can include:
- Exercising regularly 🏃🏾♀️
- Eating a healthy diet 🥑
- Ensuring you get all the essential vitamins and minerals 🍊🥬🍏
- Getting enough sleep 😴
But if you are really struggling, it’s important to reach out.
There are options available to you, from changing your current birth control prescription to treatment for mental health challenges.
The bottom line is: your mental health matters.
While contraceptive prescribing should not be trial and error, we have not gotten to the stage of personalized prescription to bypass all the negative side effects women experience.
You don’t have to just battle through this alone. ❤️