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Birth control affects users’ mood

Contraceptive methods can cause mood irregularities for women. 

The list of side effects is a fairly short and self-explanatory one.

They include headaches, dizziness, breast tenderness, nausea, decreased libido and spotting.

The one side effect doctors sometimes fail to emphasize and is prevailing among all the others is depression and mood disturbances.

Although contraceptives have been of great benefit to most women by allowing them to control their reproductive life and reducing premenstrual syndrome, I want to urge students to ask questions and fully understand the outcome of starting a contraceptive program.

Changes in mood have been linked to contraceptives that are based heavily on hormones.

Our body relies on hormones to accomplish its daily functions.

Hormones affect how we think, eat, sleep, and cope with stress.

A hormonal imbalance can potentially hurt one or several of our daily functions.

Dr. Wendie Trubow a gynecologist said, “Any contraceptive with hormones has the potential to impact a woman’s mental health due to the effect synthetic hormones can have on a woman’s body.”

“For any woman who is prone to depression, anxiety, sadness or mood swings, the hormone-containing contraceptives can magnify those responses,” added Trubow.

There has been many technological advances in the form of contraception and the doses that are administered.

Women not only have the pill but they also have patches, injections, and implants.

Even though there has been a lot of developments and research done on contraceptives, one of the side effects that is severely unpublicized and hasn’t been addressed yet is the psychological one.

Dr. Robert Gardiner, the campus psychiatrist, agrees that he has seen birth control negatively affect many women.

“Estrogen based birth control has a higher chance of causing mood irregularities than progesterone based birth control,” sad Gardiner.

He also claims that estrogen works as a stimulant and in many cases pushes women off edge.

Tampering with our hormones and manipulating our reproductive system benefits us in the way that we steer away from unwanted pregnancies but then has a negative effect in other ways.

However, there are alternatives to being affected by the hormones in birth control and only reap the benefits. Contraceptives, such as the intrauterine device (IUD) is available in a non-hormonal form.

Student Marisol Jacobo said she has experienced mood changes but feels that a lot of our mood changes may be psychological and that changes only occur because we think they will affect our mood.

“It can affect moods greatly depending on what type of birth control it is,” said Brittany Mora, who claims to have experienced it herself.

Mora also said she has learned about it in health classes as well.

Obtaining information regarding birth control, the various types, and the side effects of them is fairly easy.

Students have a department in the Student Health Center whose job and purpose is to answer any of our questions and concerns about contraceptives.

Women shouldn’t stop using contraceptives because of the fear of experiencing the negative side effects but women should be well informed and find the right contraceptive that works best for the physical and mental health.

Originally published on coyotechronicle.net (March 2, 2014)

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