Your birth control pill might be increasing your risk of getting depression.

A new study has revealed that teenage girls taking oral hormonal contraceptives are twice as likely to be depressed as those who use other forms of contraception.

According to the research, females aged 15-19 on the Pill have an 80 per cent higher chance of being treated for depression – although those figures vary according to the form of oral contraception.

The University of Copenhagen study of more than one million women aged 15-34 revealed that teenagers who use a “combined” pill (oestrogen and progestogen) were 1.8 times more likely to be depressed, while girls who use progestogen-only pills were 2.2 times more likely.

The contraceptive pill
"According to statistics, young women on the Pill have an 80% higher chance of being depressed." Image via iStock.

To put that in an Australian context, most in Australia are "combined" pills (for a full list, click here). However, what doctors refer to as the "Mini-Pill" is a progestogen-only pill.


Thankfully, the risk of depression diminished as the participants in the study got older, although adult women who use the pill are still at a 1.2 times higher risk of depression.

"We can see that, especially with young women, there is a significantly increased risk of developing depression after starting up on hormone contraception," the lead doctor on the study, Dr Lidegaard, told Triple J's Hack.

Watch: How to compare combination birth control pills.

Video via eHow Health

Dr Lidegaard said the research is particularly important since many people are quick to write off the "mood swings" of teenage girls as related to puberty.

"I think that perhaps we have been a little uncritical in our prescription of these [adolescent] women who are the most sensitive women, concerning the development of depression with hormone contraception," he said.

While the statistics are concerning, it's worth remembering that the best person to speak to about the effect that contraceptives have on your mental health is your doctor. If you're concerned that the Pill might be contributing to issues with mental health, speak to a trusted GP.