Another study recently released links birth control use with mood disorders, this time in men.
The study focused on a new birth control shot for men, one that would significantly reduce their sperm count on a daily basis. While the study proved the shot to be 96% effective, it also revealed that men experienced negative side effects including “acne and mood disorders” during the course of treatment:
The researchers stopped taking on new participants in 2011 after concerns were raised about side effects such as depression and other mood disorders, as well as muscle pain and acne.
Such side effects caused 20 men to drop out of the study and were reported by many others.
75% of the men who participated in the study said they would be willing to continue using this method of contraception. Therefore, researchers argue that “the side effects weren’t that bad after all.”
This study comes on the tail of another study published last month linking depression with the use of hormonal birth control among women:
…the use of any combined oral contraceptive was associated with a 10 percent increased risk of a first diagnosis of depression, and a 20 percent increased risk of using antidepressants. The risk was higher among women aged 15-19, and was also higher among women who used any type of hormonal birth control for six months. Women who used progestin-only pills doubled their risk of developing depression, while those who used the levonorgestrel IUD (aka Mirena) tripled their risk.
While many women’s magazines reported on the study, they were also quick to clarify that “correlation doesn’t equal causation” despite the fact that
…experts aren’t shocked that the association exists. Clark says hormonal birth control can be risky for women who may be prone to emotional sensitivity because the sex hormones used in them—estrogen and progesterone—impact emotional and cognitive processing (which then impacts your ability to regulate your mood). Hormonal birth control tricks your body into thinking it’s pregnant, she points out, so it’s not surprising that it can potentially negatively impact your mood. Indeed, some hormonal birth control options, including pills and the ring, list mood changes and even depression as a possible side effect.
All pregnant women will attest to the fact that pregnancy impacts your mood. They will also tell you about the crying jags and mood swings associated with the “baby blues,” a result of your body’s hormones readjusting after birth. Breastfeeding women will often confess to everything from misery to depression after weaning due to hormonal changes as well. Attempting to deny the psychological impact of hormones is nothing short of sheer willful ignorance.
This, of course, leads us to the real kicker of a conclusion: hormonal birth control doesn’t give women as much control over their bodies as they’ve been led to believe. But, although science proves biology right, it also happens to go against societal trend. Therefore, “correlation doesn’t equal causation” and mood swings “aren’t that bad after all” because, hey, there’s a pill for that, too.