Oral contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. (Black Press Media files)

Teens who take birth control face increased risk of depression as adults: B.C. study

UBC study looks at how oral contraceptives as teens impact depression during adulthood

Women who used birth control as a teen may have an increased risk of developing depression as an adult, according to new research from the University of B.C.

The study findings, published Wednesday in the the scientific Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, found that teens who took birth control pill were 1.7 times to three times more likely to be clinically depressed during adulthood compared to women who started taking the oral contraceptive as an adult, as well as those who had never taken any pills.

Findings from the first-of-its-kind study by B.C. researchers comes as women remain twice as likely as men to develop depression at some point in their lives, explained UBC psychology postdoctoral fellow Christine Anderl.

“Our findings suggest that the use of oral contraceptives during adolescence may have an enduring effect on a woman’s risk for depression—even years after she stops using them,” Anderl said in a news release.

“Adolescence is an important period for brain development. Previous animal studies have found that manipulating sex hormones, especially during important phases of brain development, can influence later behaviour in a way that is irreversible.”

ALSO READ: Pregnant Victoria woman files lawsuit after birth control recall

To conduct the study, researchers analyzed data from 1,236 women in the U.S., including the age they began menstruating, age they first had sex and current birth control prescription.

But while the data clearly shows a relationship between birth control use at a young age and increased depression risk in adulthood, the researchers note that it does not prove one causes the other.

“Millions of women worldwide use oral contraceptives, and they are particularly popular among teenagers,” said Frances Chen, a UBC psychology associate professor.

“While we strongly believe that providing women of all ages with access to effective methods of birth control is and should continue to be a major global health priority, we hope that our findings will promote more research on this topic, as well as more informed dialogue and decision-making about the prescription of hormonal birth control to adolescents.”

ALSO READ: Esquimalt considers birth control for its deer population


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Conflict expert explains how to talk to people who aren’t social distancing

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

COVID-19: Managing your mental health from isolation

Ministry of Mental Health, Addictions recommends numerous strategies for self-care during pandemic

Saanich moves forward with summer camp registration despite COVID-19

District to give full refunds if camps are cancelled

Sunday morning fire damages Victoria gas station

The fire on Fairfield Road caused $75,000 in estimated damages to tires and automotive equipment

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Researchers look at humidity as a weapon in the fight against airborne viruses

Regular hand washing, physical distancing and PPE for health care workers remains best line of defense

Most Read