Can birth control increase anxiety?

When it comes to taking birth control, there are many potential side effects that individuals may experience. One of the most common side effects reported is increased anxiety levels. In this article, we will explore the relationship between birth control and anxiety to determine if it’s really true.

The Science behind Birth Control

Before we can answer the question on whether birth control leads to an increase in anxiety, let’s take a deeper look at what exactly happens when someone takes it (This stuff gets pretty interesting. Buckle up).

When someone takes hormonal birth control like the pill or patch, they’re introducing synthetic versions of estrogen and progesterone into their bodies (no need to Google these words – I got you fam). These hormones work together to prevent ovulation by inhibiting certain areas of the brain (the hypothalamus and pituitary gland) from producing other hormones necessary for ovulation.

Estrogen also helps stabilize mood swings caused by changes in hormone levels during menstrual cycles (potentially handy information if your partner doesn’t want to murder you every month).

However, because birth control alters our body’s natural hormonal balance, there are some side effects that may arise while taking them including headaches, nausea and perhaps…anxiety?

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural human response triggered by stressful situations or experiences. It’s a feeling of unease accompanied with nervousness sometimes adrenaline which prepares us for fight-or-flight mode (<—I swear I’m not tryna scare anyone here…you good though right?) . However excessive preoccupation with worry thinking about social situations or feeling intense fear without any logical explanation could signify generalized anxiety disorder(GAD).

Symptoms can include:

  • Intense fears
  • OCD-type behavior
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Heart palpitations (weird heart fluttery feelings)
    …to name a few (this might not be you, but trust me we’ve all got somethin weird goin on).

Birth Control and Anxiety

Now that we know the basics of hormonal birth control and anxiety, let’s explore if taking these contraceptives can affect our body’s ability to manage stress…or basically make us into an anxious ball of mess.
While the science behind it is still being explored researchers have found certain studies link hormonal contraception use to mental health issues including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders.

But how exactly would hormones cause this? According to the endocrine society statement they propose two mechanisms:

  1. Estrogen fluctuations seen during menstrual cycles have direct impacts on brain areas controlling mood regulation.
  2. Progesterone also directly affects gaba receptors (I’m gonna need y’all with your fancy medical degrees or google nearby) which could result in increased levels of anxiety.

However different antidepressants or therapies are used for treatment depending upon severity.This shouldn’t stop someone from using birth control because dealing with unintended pregnancy ain’t no cakewalk either! It’s worth exploring options within pill-mixtures(yes there’re multiple kinds), patches, shots or more detailed analysis like genetic testing for comprehensively accurate dosage.

Can Hormonal Birth Control Make Anxiety Worse?

If you already suffer from GAD ,blame game shift towards possible increased symptoms as well as other aforementioned side effects such as headaches,migraines etc(Hopefully not Armageddon). Keep track alongside consulting physicians also stay attuned towards weight gain,Mood swings(Sorry It happens fam).

It’s always best to evaluate your decision based off whats right for your individual health needs while considering pros vs cons.

Reliable Solutions

Anyone who does suffer from any form of depression/anxiety disorder should consider seeking professional therapy advice before starting new medication too because this will help them understand how symptoms can be affecting their current treatments or medications.

It’s always best to consult a healthcare practitioner before making any major decisions regarding contraceptive use or anxiety management.

Alternative Contraceptive Methods

There are alternative options like copper-based IUDs and condoms that don’t interfere with your hormones while providing reliable contraception (extra protection never hurts wink wink)


In the end,the relationship between birth control and anxiety is complex. While some studies suggest a correlation which needs to be researched further others debunk them, what’s clear though is that hormonal contraceptives should not be blamed solely for causing mental health disorders but it could exacerbate preexisting conditions hence worth taking note of.

If you’re experiencing increased anxiety shortly after starting any form of hormonal contraceptive, talk with your doctor immediately may require changing dosage ,practising yoga asanas, meditation seeing psychiatrist etc.(Nowadays even smartphone applications have inbuilt analysis tools & virtual consultations available) .

Remember always prioritize individual benefit vs harmful side-effects weigh all possible consequences beforehand…unless there’s free pizza involved then do whatever makes ya happy because nothing beats free 🍕 .