Study Links Depression with Birth Control, Especially for Teen Girls

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Women using birth control - especially teenagers - are at significantly higher risk of depression, according to a new study from Denmark that tracked more than a million women. The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that women who used the birth control pill were 23 percent more likely to be prescribed antidepressants if they took a pill that combined estrogen and progestin; that rate grew to 34 percent if women took progestin-only pills. The use of antidepressants was even higher for women who used hormonal patches, vaginal rings or IUDs. Critics of the study point out that it only proves a correlation between birth control and depression, not a causal link. In this hour, we'll discuss the study and invite our listeners to share their experiences with birth control.

More Information:

A link to the Association of Hormonal Contraception With Depression study (

‘It's Not in Your Head’: Striking New Study Links Birth Control to Depression (Washington Post)



Øjvind Lidegaard, head of professors in obstetrics and gynecology in East Denmark, University of Copenhagen; lead author of the Journal of the American Medical Association study on birth control

Jennifer Conti, clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology
Organization: Stanford University

Holly Grigg-Spall, author, "Sweetening the Pill: Or How We Got Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control"