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

Highway 1 closed near Golden for high avalanche danger

DriveBC does not give an estimation for reopening

Kicking Horse Update Friday January 24

Kicking Horse reports 9 cm of snow in the last 24 hours,… Continue reading

Highway Update, Friday January 24

A vehicle incident has led to Highway 1 being closed in both… Continue reading

Trans-Canada to close at 11 a.m. for avalanche work

The highway will be closed until 2 p.m.

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read