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

Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Rob Morrison says protestors across Canada need to remove roadblocks on roads, rail lines

Regional District of East Kootenay draft 5-year financial plan open for review

The public comment period is open until noon on March 2

Eagles Boxers at BC Championships

Pictured above: Eagles Boxers are back from the BC Provincial Championships in… Continue reading

It happened this week in 1913

February 16 - 22: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Key City Theatre establishes new endowment fund

The Key City Theatre Legacy Fund was made possible thanks to an anonymous donation

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Most Read