Teen birth control pill use linked to adult depression, but don’t ditch them yet: experts

Women who used oral contraceptives as teenagers are at a greater risk of depression as adults, according to a new Canadian study, but experts say don’t jump off the pill wagon yet.Story continues belowThe researchers surveyed more than 1,200 women and grouped them into three categories – those who used hormonal birth control pills as teenagers, those who used as adults only, and those who never used them at all.They found that women who used the pill as teens were between 1.7 and three times more likely to develop clinical depression than women who never used the pill.The risk was consistent even years after first use – when women had stopped taking the pill.READ MORE: The current way oral birth control is prescribed can be costly, ineffective: studyLead researcher Christine Anderl, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia’s psychology department, said the relationship between the pill and depression also went unchanged when other factors – like smoking history and age of first sexual intercourse – were controlled.However, she stressed that these findings do not prove that one causes the other.“It’s impossible to say anything about causality just based on this data,” she told Global News. “None of these variables explain the link, but that doesn’t mean that we might not have unintentionally missed the real thing.”Anderl said studies on animals have shown changes to sex hormones during puberty can have an “irreversible” impact, but studies on humans are “less clear.”WATCH: Are fewer women using birth control pills?

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