Hormonal contraceptives are used successfully by millions of women to prevent pregnancy and treat menstrual-related conditions and acne. For a small group, however, contraception is linked with adverse mood effects, including depression. A recent study took this a step further to focus on the risk for suicide.
Almost half a million Danish women were followed prospectively from age 15, before they began using birth control. In women ages 15-33, hormonal contraceptives were associated with an increased risk for first suicide attempt. The risk peaked after 2 months of contraceptive use and decreased after 1 year.
Adolescent women had the highest relative risks. And use of the patch, vaginal ring, and progestin-only products had a higher risk than oral combined products.