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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Hormonal Birth Control and Depression

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Author Topic: Hormonal Birth Control and Depression
moon_goddess
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I've been wondering recently about hormonal birth control, but a little worried about the side effects. I read that the (combination) pill can sometimes exacerbate depression, which would not be ideal for me.

Also, I saw somewhere that the pill causes women to produce less mucus, and also that it lowers a woman's libido. Is this also true for the progestin-only pill?

How do the effects of the NuvaRing compare? I am a little wary of inserting anything (including a diaphragm with spermicide) because I am susceptible to yeast infections.

Could someone tell me what the normal effects/purpose of estrogen and progestin in the body are?

One last question: since a big part of why I'm interested in hormonal birth control is due to cramps, but I am very hesitant to alter my body's hormones, what other things (other than ibuprofen) can help with bad menstrual cramps? Are there any better medications?

Posts: 48 | From: Northern Hemisphere | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
moon_goddess
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Also, why is progesterone sometimes called progestin?
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Heather
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Sorry to have missed this, moon_goddess!

So, progesterone is the hormone that is produced by the body itself. Progestins are synthetic progesterones: man-made chemically, not by the body itself.

When it comes to vaginal dryness due to hormonal methods, that most commonly occurs for methods which contain estrogens, like the combined pill, patch and ring. Depression, or increased depression, as a side effect can occur with combined methods or progestin-only methods.

If you're inclined to yeast infections, methods with estrogen can sometimes increase that for some people.

It really sounds like you need a good, long sit-down with a healthcare provider who can look at your health history and talk you through all of these issues. For instance, with your cramps, a form of contraception may help, but it might not: it really depends on why you're getting such bad cramps, so you'd want your healthcare provider to look into that. same goes for any other possible medications or treatments for you. However, when it comes to over-the-counter meds, you might see if a naproxen works better for you than ibuprofen: it often does when we're talking about muscles like the uterus.

What do estrogens and progesterones in the body -- natrually, not synthetically -- do?

The Wiki on estrogen has a good list, scroll down to the part of the page with the "function" heading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estrogen

The Wiki on progesterone is also good, scroll down to "effects": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progesterone

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moon_goddess
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Thanks so much! I just scheduled my first visit with an OBGYN so I can ask her all these questions. I'd been putting it off because I was kind of nervous about going, but now my curiosity about my body is outweighing my nervousness. [Smile]
Posts: 48 | From: Northern Hemisphere | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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