Women are much less likely to develop a mood disorder if they are taking a combined contraceptive pill, conclude researchers.
The study examined data from nearly 500 women aged 20 to 50 years, with 375 of the group taking oral contraceptives on enrolment.
In this sample, 40 women (8%) had a current mood disorder, but women taking a progestin-only contraceptive agent were three times more likely to have a current mood disorder, compared with those taking other contraceptives. Whereas, women taking a combined oral contraceptive were 70% less likely to have a mood disorder.
Study leader Dr Gjertrud Svendal, lecturer at the University of Bergen in Norway, said: ‘Because of the potential adverse effect progestin-only agents have on current mood, caution should be taken when prescribing these to women.’
‘If clinically indicated, the combined contraceptive agents appear preferable in terms of mood endpoints.’
Journal of Affective Disorders 2012, online 24 April