Hormonal Contraception And Suicide, everyone’s taking about it and posting it all over social media, and here is my two cents about it. One thing I found in my years of research is that you can find a study to support just about anything even when it comes to hormonal contraception use, depression, and suicide. One study from The American Journal of Psychiatry1 entitled, Association of Hormonal Contraception with Suicide Attempts and Suicide concludes, “Use of hormonal contraception was positively associated with subsequent suicide attempt and suicide. Adolescent women experienced the highest relative risk.” Another study by The American Journal of Epidemiology2 entitled, Association of Hormonal Contraceptive Use With Reduced Levels of Depressive Symptoms: A National Study of Sexually Active Women in the United States concluded, “Longitudinal analyses indicated that associations between hormonal contraception and depressive symptoms were stable. Hormonal contraception may reduce levels of depressive symptoms among young women. Systematic investigation of exogenous hormones as a potential preventive factor in psychiatric epidemiology is warranted.”
What to believe?
Whenever I get stumped with studies and their findings, I always go back to what I’ve seen to be true in the clinic. I’ve seen thousands of patients over the years come into our hormone clinic with varying stages of depression with some contemplating suicide at times. I’ve seen what happens to these women with depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideology when given the right hormones, dosed in the right amounts, and administered in the right manner and it’s mind blowing. When women have the right amount of circulating estrogen in their blood, things like depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts are non-existent. When estrogen is sound, depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts diminish and go away for most women. Its estrogen in abundant amounts that makes a woman want to live and thrive and when it’s too low, they want to die and take everyone down with them.
“Hypoestrogenism: refers to a lower than optimal levels of circulating estrogen.”
Hormonal contraceptives are not hormones and are not to be confused with hormone therapy. Hormonal contraceptives like the birth control pill actually put a woman into chemical menopause, no matter her age. This happens because the Pill is an estrogen-like chemical that tricks your brain into thinking you’ve produced enough estrogen so your ovaries shut down your own natural estrogen production putting you into a mental, physical, and behavioral downward spiral until you get some estrogen again, and if you never get the right amount of estrogen in your blood, this downward spiral gets worse as women feel like they have no control over their mind and body anymore.
I’ve seen women of all ages at varying stages of estrogen deficiency (hypoestrogenism) and what happens to their minds and behavior the lower their circulating estrogen gets. The biggest problems women have in a state of hypoestrogenism are mental and behavioral health issues, not to mention the physical body falls apart. I’ve also seen women in deep dark depression with thoughts of suicide get better and want to live when their estrogen optimized to healthy reproductive levels. It has been clear to me when women have enough estrogen, they feel better and want to live, and when they don’t have enough; they feel like they want to die. Literally. This is why I call estrogen the life and death hormone.
Estrogen deficient women are not happy campers and experience more unrelenting emotional and physical pain than women with healthy circulating estrogen. If you’re feeling like crap and want to get your life back, find a way to get some healthy amounts of estrogen in your blood. It will make all the difference.
If you want to learn how to avoid depression, suicidal thoughts related to low estrogen, and/or reverse it, make a complementary consultation with me by clicking on the button below and let’s talk about how I can help you get to your personal “Hormone Sweet Spot”™.
- Skovlund CW, Mørch LS, Kessing LV, Lange T, Lidegaard Ø. Association of Hormonal Contraception With Suicide Attempts and Suicides. Am J Psychiatry. 2018;175(4):336-342.
- Keyes KM, Cheslack-postava K, Westhoff C, et al. Association of hormonal contraceptive use with reduced levels of depressive symptoms: a national study of sexually active women in the United States. Am J Epidemiol. 2013;178(9):1378-88.