Taking the pill could save women’s lives, a study has found.
Women taking hormonal contraceptives are aware that one of the side effects can be moodiness.
And previous studies have shown that this could lead to depression or suicide attempts.
In light of safety concerns, Dr. Elena Toffol and researchers from the University of Helsinki to confirm if this is the case.
She said: “Many women using hormonal birth control, particularly the birth control pill, report mood swings as a side effect.
“Initial reports from 2018 and 2020 had indicated that hormonal contraceptive use was associated with a higher rate/risk of suicide and suicide attempts.”
Hormonal contraceptives include the pill, implant, patch and vaginal rings.
The researchers used several Finnish national databases to compare suicide attempt rates between women who used and did not use hormonal contraceptives.
Between 2017 and 2019, they examined 587,823 women – about half of all women aged 15 to 49 in Finland.
Half of these women had used hormonal contraceptives.
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Suicide rates were similar between the two groups in 15- to 19-year-olds—the age at which suicide was highest.
But suicide rates fell among hormonal contraceptive users as they got older, especially in those over 20.
Overall, the researchers looked at 474 cases of suicide attempts in women not using hormonal birth control and 344 attempts in women who did.
Overall, women not using birth control were 37 percent more likely to attempt suicide compared to women using hormonal birth control.
dr Toffol said the results were “not what we expected” – but it was “good news for contraceptive users”.
She said the study was stronger than previous ones because of its size and wide age range.
“We found that women with no psychiatric history who used hormonal birth control pills, particularly those containing ethinylestradiol, had a significantly lower risk of suicide than women not using a hormonal birth control method,” concluded Dr. toffol.
Professor Andrea Fiorillo of the University of Campania in Naples said the results were “striking”.
They are important as millions of women in the UK take birth control pills – the most popular form of birth control – and suicide is the leading killer of under 35s in the UK.
That’s why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone suicide prevention campaign to raise awareness of the problem.
Resources are available for those who have suicidal thoughts.
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US) at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or the Samaritans (UK) at 116 123.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5505452/why-taking-pill-could-save-life-suicide/ Taking the pill could ‘save your life’ as fewer women commit suicide, experts say