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.

Just Posted

Piano, guitar music wafts through St. Mike’s in ‘From Spanish to Pastiche’

Andrei and Jannie Burdeti combine their talents for a delightful afternoon of music in Chemainus

Andrea Rondeau column: Holiday weekend delivers letters

It occurred to me that this was just giving me a taste of what Santa must go through every year.

Sarah Simpson Column: Kids’ Christmas is going to the dogs

I enjoy long weekends because of the extra family time they offer,… Continue reading

Duncan Lions and friends step up with irrigation system for Providence Farm kitchen garden

Duncan Lions Club members were busy out at Providence Farm, both having… Continue reading

Rare setback for Cowichan 49ers

Masters team suffers unusual loss to Castaways Juniors

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

VIDEO: B.C. man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

Most Read