Oral birth control is one of the most popular methods of contraception among women. Although birth control is a safe and effective method to prevent pregnancy, many women report changes in their mood while taking the medication.

Some studies have found that approximately 10% of women who take birth control pills experience mood swings. Alternatively, other studies show that women experience a decrease in mood swings or symptoms of depression after starting oral contraceptives.

Keep reading to learn more about how birth control pills work and how they can affect your mood.

How Does Birth Control Work?

Hormonal birth control typically uses progesterone or a combination of progesterone and estrogen to prevent pregnancy. Different combinations of these hormones are used in birth control pills to either suppress ovulation, thicken cervical mucus, change the uterine lining, or regulate the menstrual cycle.

Birth Control and Your Mood

Although the cause is relatively unknown, some women can experience a drastic change in their mood after taking birth control pills. It is thought that mood changes after taking birth control may be caused by one of two things: fluctuating hormone levels and your brain chemistry.

Fluctuation in hormone levels can cause mood swings and birth control can impact hormone levels for some women. Some birth control pills contain estrogen, a hormone that increases the level of serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter naturally found in the body that typically causes an increase in mood and gives people an overall sense of well-being. However, too much serotonin can cause an increase in anxiety for some people, which can negatively impact their mood.

The second potential cause for mood changes with birth control is your brain chemistry. Some people are more sensitive to medications or are more prone to developing symptoms of depression or anxiety. It is thought that some women may just not tolerate birth control pills based on how their brain works.

Will My Mood Change if I Take Birth Control

Every woman responds differently to the hormones found in birth control, so you may not notice much of a mood change if you start hormonal birth control. Those who do experience a difference in their mood with hormonal birth control may benefit from a different type of concentration.

There are different types and levels of hormones found in birth control pills, making over 40 different combinations available to try. If one birth control method doesn’t seem to work for you, speak with your doctor about other methods that may help reduce your mood changes.

When To Speak With Your Doctor

Although some women may experience mood changes while taking hormonal birth control, others report an increase in their overall mood and well-being. Unfortunately, there is no accurate way to tell if birth control will positively or negatively impact your mood unless you try it.

If you find that birth control is not for you, speak with your doctor about non-hormonal methods of contraception, like an IUD.

To learn more about birth control and if it is the right form of contraception for you, schedule an appointment today!