Stockholm, Sweden, Apr 27, 2017 / 02:01 am
A new Swedish study has shown that women who are taking the contraceptive pill might be putting themselves at risk for decreasing their overall health and well-being.
Mood swings, energy level shifts, and a "significantly lower" quality of life were the reported side effects of the contraceptive pill when the three-month study had concluded.
"Despite the fact that an estimated 100 million women around the world use contraceptive pills we know surprisingly little today about the pill's effect on women's health," said Professor Angelica Linden Hirschberg, one of the study's leaders, according to the Karolinska Institute.
"The scientific base is very limited as regards the contraceptive pill's effect on quality of life and depression and there is a great need for randomized studies where it is compared to placebos," Dr. Hirschberg continued.
The study that explored the side effects of contraception was conducted by the Karolinska Institute and Stockholm School of Economics, and included 340 healthy women between the age of 18-35. Their findings were recently published in the scientific journal "Fertility and Sterility."
A randomized group of women in the study were given a placebo pill, and the other group was given a common contraceptive pill with levonorgestrel and ethniylestradoil. Both groups of women and the leaders of the study were unaware of which pills the women were taking.
Compared to the placebo group, the women taking the pill reported back saying their self-control, vitality and moods were all impacted by the contraception, and noted that their quality of life plunged significantly.
"This possible degradation of quality of life should be paid attention to and taken into account in conjunctions with prescribing of contraceptive pills and when choosing a method of contraception," stated Niklas Zethraeus, one of the study's co-authors, according to the Independent.
While most women are aware that some side effects come will taking contraceptive pills, more and more studies are showing just how negative the impact can be.
Last year, a popular Danish study reported the adverse connection between hormonal birth control and depression, which linked women on the pill to a subsequent use of anti-depressants.
While this particular Swedish study did not pick up on any increase in depression, the researchers did note that contraception cannot be generalized and that different pills carry different side effects.
"All types of hormonal contraception have advantages and disadvantages. This possible effect on life quality adds to this knowledge and could be of particular importance for women who have experienced negative mood symptoms previously," Dr. Hirschberg stated.
For the over 100 million users of contraceptive pills, the study's researchers suggested that the negative life quality impact could be of "clinical importance" for women, and is something that women should be aware of.