Although it would be hard to definitively state that birth control causes depression, the study did find a strong link between the long-term use of hormonal contraception and the first time use of antidepressants.
"Assessment of the association between the duration of use and the risk for first use of antidepressants demonstrated increasing relative risks with length of use," the study noted.
"A total of 133,178 first prescriptions of antidepressants and 23,077 first diagnoses of depression were detected during follow-up," the study found, adding that this number was not reflective of the depressed individuals who did not receive medication.
Moving forward, the study suggested that both women and doctors become aware of these findings and pay particular attention to any mood changes.
"Health care professionals should be aware of this relatively hitherto unnoticed adverse effect of hormonal contraception."
Birth control has increasingly come under fire in recent years, as science continues to indicate that the high levels of artificial hormones contained within many forms of contraception have negative consequences.
Other recent studies on hormonal birth control have shown that it may be responsible for an increase in breast cancer risk, and that it may change a woman's biological preference in picking a compatible mate.
The Catholic Church teaches that the use of contraception is immoral because it tries to separate the sexual act from its natural possibility of procreation.
If a married couple faces a just reason to avoid pregnancy, the Church teaches that they may do so through Natural Family Planning, a process that works with a woman's natural fertile cycles and abstaining from sexual activity during the times that she is fertile.
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