Can birth control help with anxiety?

If you’re an anxious person, the world can be a pretty overwhelming place. It’s hard enough to get through a day-to-day routine without feeling like everything is falling apart around you. That’s where birth control comes in – but before we dive into whether or not it can help with anxiety, let’s get some basics down first.

What is Birth Control?

At its core, birth control is any method used to prevent pregnancy from occurring. There are plenty of different types available on the market today, ranging from condoms and diaphragms to pills and implants.

Fun Fact: Did you know that condoms have been around for over 400 years? The oldest known condom was found in an old toilet in the grounds of Dudley Castle and dates back to sometime between 1642-1651!

When people think about birth control helping with anxiety, they typically think specifically about hormonal methods – things like the pill or IUDs. These use hormones such as estrogen and progesterone to alter your body’s natural menstrual cycle and stop ovulation from occurring.

How Does Hormonal Birth Control Work?

Okay okay okay… so how does popping a little pill every day actually help my anxiety? Well my friend (friendly pat on the back), it all has to do with one very important hormone: progesterone.

Progesterone plays a key role in regulating mood; when levels are too low (which is sometimes common during PMS or menopause) this often leads to feelings of agitation, depression or irritability 😖😤🙄

In fact — get ready for another fun fact — studies have shown that women who take hormonal methods report fewer symptoms of depression than those who don’t! 🧟‍♀️➡️🙂

So if hormonal contraceptives boost our happy hormone (progesterone) then why isn’t everyone who uses them walking around with a smile permanently etched on their faces? Unfortunately, nothing in life — including birth control — is foolproof or perfect. Hormonal contraceptives can have side effects for some people.

What Are the Side Effects of Birth Control?

Sadly (sigh), while hormonal contraceptive methods are great at suppressing ovulation and upping our progesterone levels, they’re not always sunshine and daisies (see what I did there… sorry it’s cheesy lol).

Some women report feeling nauseous or having headaches after starting certain methods (like pills). Others may experience weight gain (which would be unfortunate if you’re one of those gals that loves pizza as much as I do 😩🍕) or mood swings due to higher-than-normal hormone levels (though the jury is still out about whether hormones from contraception lead to an increased risk for depression).

It’s important to note though that just because you hear about someone experiencing these side effects doesn’t mean it will necessarily happen to you. Everyone’s body is different!

Psst: Did ya know? Hormonal contraceptives can also play a huge role in helping prevent ovarian cancer!

Something else worth mentioning – Doctors always remind patients taking hormonal contraceptive methods not to smoke cigarettes 🚭 🔞 This cautions represents an important reminder since smoking combined with oral contraceptives increases your risk for blood clots significantly 💔

That being said, let’s talk more specifically about how each form of hormonal birth control could affect anxiety:

The Pill

The pill contains both estrogen (the “female” hormone) AND progestin (synthetic progesterone), which together work their magic by blocking signals between your brain and pituitary gland that would normally tell your ovaries what time of month it is!

While many users find the pill helps alleviate symptoms caused by those nasty hormonal fluctuations, some actually find it worsens their anxiety. 😔 One theory suggests that the progesterone IN pill form feeds directly to your brain when normally it would have been synthesized in the body producing unwanted side effects like nervousness or anxiety levels!

IUDs

IUD stands for Intrauterine Device 🙌🏼 (AKA a little t-shaped piece of plastic inserted into your uterus by your doctor). IUDs come in two types: copper and hormonal.

Now you might be thinking (and understandably so): “Woah woah woah — back up! Why on earth would someone want a PIECE OF PLASTIC shoved UP THERE?!?!” But trust us… it’s not as bad as it may sound 🤭 And hey – we’ve all had worse things happen during our visits with Aunt Flow. AM-I-RIGHT-LADIES??? 💁‍♀️🩸💩

Alright, alright – back on track- the Copper IUD doesn’t contain hormones but encourages an inflammatory reaction within the body which is lethal to those lil’ sperm swimmers trying to fertilize an egg. The downside? It can lead to heavier more uncomfortable periods (again everyone is different…some ladies don’t experience this KO punch)😞 but here’s where my girl THE MIRENA comes in 👇🏻

The Hormonal IUD (Mirena) slowly releases progestin throughout one FIVE YEAR period ‼️ This means no daily pills, no fussing with condoms , just letting life pass you by while still gaining birth control benefits AND increasing chances of lighter menstrual periods (or even blessing women altogether!)

Because hormone levels are only slightly affected compared to other options available (like estrogen containing pills), symptoms such as depression & anxiety are typically mild or non-existent ⛅️

The Depo Shot

Ah yes..THE SHOT. An injection (given in the hip or arm) of progestin which also prevents ovulation.

Many women report enjoying this form of birth control because they don’t have to remember a pill every day, but others say that taking it worsened their anxiety levels ☹️ I guess its just like anything else – some people will dig it, and others won’t.

Most importantly though- side effects might last longer with the Depo shot compared to other methods — so be mindful about your choice before getting into something long term! 💉💊

Conclusion:

So can hormonal birth control help alleviate anxiety? 🤔 While studies reveal mixed results on whether hormone-based contraception aids or hinders mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety, seems like personal experiences play a larger role when evaluating quality-for-life while using contraceptives.

If you’ve been considering starting any type of hormonal contraceptive method purely for the purpose of abating anxiety symptoms: talk with your doctor first 👩🏻‍⚕️ And never underestimate the power of mentally recovering from anxious thoughts through therapy treatments and meditation techniques!

In conclusion (Thank GOD)… We’ve covered everything on Birth Control + Anxiety, Hormonal Contraceptive Methods, Side Effects AND where Chuck Norris once hid his secret stash 😉 Hope we were able to bring a smile to your face in that process too! 😁

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