Can Birth Control Cause Anxiety? Here’s How It Affects

In order to prevent pregnancy, many people in the United States utilize hormonal birth control at some point in their lives. Some people believe that the additional hormones produced by birth control may influence your mood and make you feel more anxious. So, can birth control cause anxiety? To understand more about this condition, keep reading.


Can Birth Control Cause Anxiety?

Should you worry about birth control causing anxiety? Hormonal contraceptives can mess with your brain chemicals, potentially leading to stress and anxiety symptoms. Some women on the pill feel more anxious, while others find it calming. The impact varies from person to person and depends on the specific type of contraceptive, and researchers are still unraveling the details.

Hormonal birth control comes in various forms like the pill, patch, implant, IUD, and shot. There are two main types: one with synthetic progesterone (progestin) and another with a combo of progestin and estrogen. These synthetic hormones have been linked to different side effects, including anxiety. If you’re curious about “Does birth control cause anxiety?” keep reading.

Can Birth Control Pills Cause Anxiety?

Is birth control linked to anxiety? It’s undetermined. The impact varies among women due to different hormonal contraceptives. There’s no universal measure for how a specific medication might influence you.

Numerous hormonal birth control options exist, such as combined oral contraceptives (COCs) with synthetic estrogen and progestin and progestin-only contraceptives (POCs). These come in various forms, offering choices to suit individual preferences.

There are various forms of hormonal birth control, including the following:

  • The Birth Control Pill:
    • Cyclic Combination Oral Contraceptive: COC contains estrogen and progestin.
    • Progestin-Only Pill: POP contains only progestin.
  • Implant:
    • Nexplanon or Implanon: A small rod implanted in the arm, releasing progestin to prevent pregnancy.
  • Injection:
    • Depo-Provera: Received every three months as an injection containing progestin.
  • IUD (Intrauterine Device):
    • Brands: Paragard, Mirena, Kyleena, Liletta, Skyla.
    • Types: Hormonal IUDs and Copper IUDs (non-hormonal).
  • Vaginal Ring:
    • Types: NuvaRing (lasts five weeks) and Annovera (lasts one year).
    • Content: Contains both estrogen and progestin, preventing ovulation.
  • Patch:
    • Brands: Xulane and Twirla.
    • Mechanism: Similar to the vaginal ring, the combination of estrogen and progestin prevents ovulation.

While current hormonal birth control options are designed for women, ongoing studies are exploring the development of male hormonal contraceptives.

Can Birth Control Affect Mental Health?

Hormonal contraception, using synthetic hormones, can affect women’s mental health in different ways. Some may notice changes in sexual desire, stress management, and mood while using these methods. The balance of hormones, especially estrogen and progestin, is crucial for regulating physical and mental aspects. However, the impact varies among women, with what’s positive for one person potentially posing challenges for another.

While it’s known that changing hormone levels, a crucial part of hormonal contraception, can influence mental health, the specific link to anxiety isn’t clear yet. Ongoing research aims to understand the relationship between the hormones in birth control and anxiety or stress.

We Level Up FL Mental Health Treatment Center Tips To Cope With Birth Control Anxiety

✅ If birth control is causing anxiety, consider talking to your healthcare provider for guidance and alternative options.

✅ Exploring non-hormonal contraceptives or adjusting the type of hormonal birth control may help alleviate anxiety concerns.

✅ Prioritizing open communication with your healthcare team and staying informed about potential side effects can contribute to a more comfortable experience with birth control.

Get birth control anxiety counseling that works. Discover professional help from We Level Up Florida’s mental health therapists. Start getting support with a free call to our mental health hotline.

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Can birth control cause anxiety? The impact varies among women, with what's positive for one person potentially posing challenges for another. Learn how to deal with anxiety and stress.
Can birth control cause anxiety? The impact varies among women, with what’s positive for one person potentially posing challenges for another. Learn how to deal with anxiety and stress.

How to Treat Anxiety if You’re on Birth Control?

Currently, it’s uncertain if a particular hormonal contraceptive will cause anxiety. Regardless, anxiety is anxiety, and you can manage birth control anxiety with these helpful tips for a healthier and more relaxed life.

Reach out to a mental health therapist for assistance.

Talking to a licensed therapist is a helpful way to manage anxiety, whether it’s related to hormonal birth control or not. Therapists can teach you coping strategies to address your symptoms and prevent stress from developing into more severe conditions. Taking action when you notice anxiety impacting your life is essential, and many women find the supportive and unbiased environment of therapy sessions to be restorative.

Handle your thoughts with meditation.

Mindful meditation is a great way to reduce anxiety and manage everyday stress. By staying aware of your thoughts and breathing, you can recognize when anxiety-related emotions are arising and take steps to regain control of your feelings or mood.

Practice deep breathing.

Studies suggest that practicing controlled breathing is a powerful way to relax and positively impact stress-related and cardiorespiratory conditions. Taking just one minute for deep breathing exercises can swiftly shift your emotional state from stress to calm by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system.

Breathing connects us to life, and evidence highlights the importance of breath control for emotional well-being. By paying attention to your breath, you can help your brain stay calm and reduce anxiety, depression, and negative emotions.

Stay hydrated.

Water is crucial for the body and brain. Many of us overlook the importance of staying hydrated in our daily routines. Adequate water intake is vital for every cell, including those in the brain, and some studies suggest a connection between increased water intake and reduced anxiety.

Incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet.

The food we eat plays a crucial role in our overall health, impacting our ability to handle anxiety and negative emotions. Include a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits in your daily meals, such as green leafy vegetables, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and beets, as they offer essential nutrients and health benefits.

What if you decide to quit hormonal birth control altogether?

Some methods, like the pill and patch, can be stopped immediately, while others, like the implant, require a healthcare provider’s removal. Avoid discontinuing the medication or patch midway to prevent irregular bleeding.

Hormones should leave your body within a few days, though the shot may take longer. Stopping hormonal birth control can affect your body and mood, leading to irregular periods or changes in mental health. Most side effects should resolve as your body returns to its average hormone production, but consult your doctor if issues persist after three months or become challenging to manage. Be aware that pregnancy could happen quickly, so use alternative contraception if you wish to avoid conception.

Do you have questions about the use of birth control and anxiety or anxiety treatment in general? Call our helpline 24/7.

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What Research Says About Birth Control and Anxiety

Research on birth control causing anxiety is limited. Some studies indicate that hormonal contraception may be associated with future depression and the use of antidepressants, especially among adolescents. However, a clear link between hormonal birth control and anxiety is not fully understood, and further research is needed to explore this connection.

Various forms of hormonal contraception, not just the pill, are linked to anxiety, according to research. A 2004 review showed higher anxiety rates among hormonal contraceptive users, while a 2018 study found elevated anxiety rates in users of IUDs containing the hormone levonorgestrel. The pill has received more research attention, with a combination of oral contraceptives and progesterone-only minipills associated with depression and anxiety affecting 4 to 10 percent of users.

Despite this, most users report satisfaction, and a review spanning 30 years found that non-oral combined hormonal contraceptives may result in fewer mood changes compared to oral methods.

Common Birth Control Side Effects

Anxiety can be a potential side effect of hormonal birth control. Some women may feel more anxious due to the synthetic hormones in contraceptives like pills, patches, or hormonal IUDs. These hormones can affect brain neurotransmitters, leading to mood changes and increased anxiety. Individuals need to be aware of these potential side effects and talk openly with their healthcare providers if they notice any adverse changes in mood or mental well-being while using birth control. This communication can help choose the most suitable contraceptive method based on individual needs.

Common birth control side effects can vary depending on the type of contraceptive method used. Here are the potential side effects associated with various forms of birth control:

  • Combined Oral Contraceptives (COCs – Birth Control Pills):
    • Nausea.
    • Headaches.
    • Breast tenderness.
    • Weight gain or loss.
    • Irregular bleeding or spotting.
    • Mood changes.
    • Decreased libido.
    • Changes in menstrual flow.
  • Progestin-Only Pills (Mini Pills):
    • Menstrual irregularities.
    • Breast tenderness.
    • Nausea.
    • Changes in appetite.
    • Headaches.
  • Contraceptive Patch:
    • Skin irritation at the application site.
    • Breast discomfort.
    • Nausea.
    • Headaches.
    • Menstrual changes.
  • Contraceptive Ring:
    • Vaginal irritation or discharge.
    • Nausea.
    • Headaches.
    • Breast tenderness.
    • Changes in libido.
Can birth control cause anxiety? Individual responses to birth control can vary, and not everyone will experience these side effects. Also, some side effects may resolve after the initial adjustment period. If you experience persistent or severe side effects, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare provider to discuss alternative contraceptive options.
Can birth control cause anxiety? Individual responses to birth control can vary, and not everyone will experience these side effects. Also, some side effects may resolve after the initial adjustment period. If you experience persistent or severe side effects, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider to discuss alternative contraceptive options.
  • Injectable Contraception (Depo-Provera):
    • Weight gain.
    • Irregular menstrual bleeding.
    • Decreased bone density with long-term use.
    • Delayed return to fertility after discontinuation.
  • Implant (Nexplanon or Implanon):
    • Irregular bleeding.
    • Headaches.
    • Weight gain.
    • Breast pain.
    • Mood changes.
  • Intrauterine Devices (IUDs):
    • Cramping and pain during insertion.
    • Irregular bleeding.
    • Expulsion of the IUD.
    • Perforation of the uterus (rare).
    • Infection (rare).
  • Emergency Contraception (Morning-After Pill):
    • Nausea and vomiting.
    • Fatigue.
    • Headache.
    • Breast tenderness.
    • Menstrual changes.

Individual responses to birth control can vary, and not everyone will experience these side effects. Also, some side effects may resolve after the initial adjustment period. If you experience persistent or severe side effects, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider to discuss alternative contraceptive options.

Can Birth Control Help With Anxiety?

Determining the effect of your contraceptive on your mental health can be challenging. A history of stress and anxiety could increase the likelihood of anxiety with hormonal birth control. On the other hand, contraceptives with drospirenone may help relieve PMS-related stress. If you’re wondering about “Can birth control help anxiety?” The general effects of birth control often involve trial and error—stick to a method for a few months to assess its impact.

Some women also report increased anxiety as a side effect of hormonal birth control, while others find that it has a calming effect. The individual response to these contraceptives is highly subjective, and factors such as the specific type of birth control, personal health history, and genetic factors contribute to the complexity of the issue.

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Understanding the Causes of Your Anxiety

If you’ve had anxiety or mood disorders before, using birth control might affect your emotions more. It’s a hypothesis suggested in various studies, though not fully proven. If you have an anxiety disorder or concerns about a specific contraceptive, talk to your doctor openly. They are there to help you choose the proper birth control method. If you think your current contraceptive is impacting your mood, keep a diary of your symptoms and share it with your doctor. Early addressing of symptoms allows your doctor to recommend self-help strategies, therapy with a mental health specialist, or prescribe medication like an antidepressant.

Anxiety can have various causes, and individual experiences may differ. Here’s a comprehensive list of potential factors contributing to stress and anxiety:

  • Biological Factors:
    • Genetic Predisposition: A family history of anxiety or mood disorders can increase susceptibility.
    • Neurochemical Imbalances: Imbalances in neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine may contribute to anxiety.
    • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormones, such as those related to thyroid disorders, can impact mood.
  • Environmental Factors:
    • Stressful Life Events: Traumatic experiences, significant life changes, or ongoing stressors can trigger anxiety.
    • Chronic Stress: Prolonged stress from work, relationships, or financial issues can contribute to anxiety.
    • Exposure to Toxins: Environmental factors, such as exposure to pollutants, may play a role.
  • Psychological Factors:
    • Personality Traits: Certain traits like perfectionism or a tendency to worry excessively can be predisposing factors.
    • Cognitive Patterns: Negative thinking patterns or irrational beliefs can contribute to anxiety.
    • Past Experiences: Previous traumatic events or abusive experiences can impact mental well-being.
  • Medical Conditions:
    • Chronic Illnesses: Conditions like chronic pain or diabetes can be associated with increased anxiety.
    • Cardiovascular Issues: Heart conditions and related health concerns may contribute to anxiety.
    • Respiratory Disorders: Chronic respiratory conditions can impact both physical and mental health.
  • Medications and Substance Use:
    • Medication Side Effects: Some medications, particularly certain antidepressants or steroids, may have anxiety-inducing side effects.
    • Substance Use: Excessive alcohol or drug use, as well as withdrawal from substances, can trigger or exacerbate anxiety.

Understanding these detailed factors can help individuals and healthcare professionals tailor interventions and treatment plans for managing anxiety. It’s essential to approach anxiety holistically, considering biological and environmental elements in developing effective coping strategies.

Determining the specific causes contributing to an individual’s anxiety is essential for developing effective coping strategies and targeted interventions. Consulting with a healthcare professional or mental health provider can help identify and address the root causes of anxiety.

Suppose you or someone you know is dealing with anxiety, which affects their daily functioning. In that case, We Level Up Florida Mental Health Treatment Center provides personalized care with a team of experienced professionals. Begin your journey towards better health by taking the first step towards healing. Get help. Call We Level Up FL now. Each call is free and confidential.

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