See the short film, Concerning Contraception, and learn what we know, and what we don’t, about the mood side effects of hormonal birth control: bit.ly/ConcerningContraception
Directed by Sandy Jeglum
The short documentary Concerning Contraception is a compilation of intimate personalstories, medical expert insights, and current scientific research about the under-acknowledged mood side effects of hormonal birth control for many young women. Asseen through the three stories of Bianca, Jayne, and Emma, women can experiencevarious reactions to their prescribed contraception ranging from phases of severedepression, anxiety attacks, or even mood enhancements.Medical experts, as a collective voice, explain that a large void of research exists forteens, even as the pill is prescribed at a dramatically growing rate for younger andyounger women. During this particularly vulnerable period of adolescents, up to 50% ofteens are taking the pill for “period problems” instead of contraception. Experts statethat what is even less known, is why some women experience mood side effects, whileothers do not.
Jayne started taking the pill at sixteen. She recalls feeling depressed in her teens, apredisposition in her family, but found that her use of contraception actually improvedher mood. For Jayne, there is no downside. She feels empowered that the pill enablesher to plan for a family in the future. However, what is not known, is if Jayne’sexperience is the norm or the exception.
Both Bianca and Emma found they were unable to recognize themselves or their moodswhile taking contraception. The implant left the bubbly and outgoing Bianca engrossedwith dark and negative thoughts. While Emma suffered from crippling anxiety and panicattacks on the pill. At first, neither had any idea that their contraception could causemood side effects. But once they stopped, they both found their symptoms lifted.
Experts add that presently the majority of research only tests for “clinical depression”,though what many women are experiencing includes feeling anxious, irritable, andangry. Women have been outspoken about these mood side effects since the pill cameon the market 60 years ago. Today, research on the range of mood side effects thatwomen experience is almost nonexistent. And why some women are affected whileothers are not is still unknown.