Holy Hormones Journal: Hello, readers – I am hoping some of you might have noticed an absence in posts on this site. As you can see we have created a new template and model for the Holy Hormones Journal and we are hoping that you find the new format easier to navigate. Of course, this is a work in progress and we will be adding more to the site and will be working out the kinks over the new few weeks.
While the site transfer was happening, I continued by involvement with the Gia Allemand Foundation for PMDD, and Lucine Health Sciences and worked with them to move a Birth Control Blood Clot study through social media.
Currently, I am working on my presentation for the AutismOne conference to be held at the end of May in Colorado Springs. This will be my third year presenting research on environmental endocrine disruptors on maternal and fetal health including autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Recent research on birth control – including the January Danish study on hormonal contraception and depression lend a more probable cause of brain changes not only in women – but very possibly in our offspring.
Globally approximately 45% of those who are married and able to have children use contraception. As of 2007, IUDs were used by about 17% of women of child bearing age in developing countries and 9% in developed countries or more than 180 million women worldwide. Wikipedia
I am so pleased that Broadly picked up the true nature behind birth control and that the concerns and knowledge my colleague Holly Grigg-Spall, author of Sweetening the Pill, How We Got Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control is being heard.
As my followers now I am a big proponent of women’s history. Unless we know where we came from – we will never understand how we got here. Women need to start connecting the dots between birth control and suppression of the brain and our emotional health – and the health of our offspring.
The Racist and Sexist History of Keeping Birth Control Side Effects Secret
A recently published study sheds light on the alarming relationship between hormonal birth control and depression. But the findings are only the latest in a long line of battles between women and their doctors over accurate information about birth control.
In September, JAMA Psychiatry published a Danish study that found a correlation between the use of hormonal birth control and being diagnosed with clinical depression. The study tracked hormonal birth control use and prescription of antidepressants over six years for over a million women. They found that women who were on hormonal birth control—be it the pill or a hormonal IUD or vaginal ring—were significantly more likely to be prescribed antidepressants.
Since the news broke, many women reported feeling vindicated that science is finally catching up to their lived experience. “I’d used the pill for ten years,” says Holly Grigg-Spall, author of Sweetening the Pill. “One particular kind, Yasmin, had huge side effects —psychological effects, depression, anxiety, panic attacks. I didn’t make the connection between what was going on with me and the pill for two years.”
The study found a particularly strong correlation between teenage birth control users and depression: there was an 80 percent increase risk for teens taking birth control to start taking antidepressants after going on the pill. This statistic is particularly troubling, especially as many teen girls are prescribed the pill before they’re even sexually active—sometimes to treat acne or severe menstrual symptoms, and sometimes just as a general, preventative measure. “It was seen as an essential thing to do,” says Grigg-Spall, “It was more of a rite of passage.”
While it may be the first study of its kind to shed light on the relationship between hormonal birth control and depression, it’s not the first to find a link between hormonal birth control and mood change. And it’s only the latest in a long line of battles between women and their doctors over birth control.
In the early part of the 20th century, contraception was illegal in most states, and 26 states banned single women from accessing contraception up until the 1960s. Women were often at the mercy of their uterus, enduring unplanned pregnancy after unplanned pregnancy. One common solution was hysterectomies. “We did them early after delivery. Six weeks, seven weeks postpartum,” said Dr. Richard Hauskenecht in the PBS documentary, American Experience: The Pill. “Doing a vaginal hysterectomy on somebody who’s had three or four kids, six weeks postpartum, you got two choices: You either got to be faster than hell, or you’d better get the blood bank cranked up because the blood loss will be astonishing. It was prehistoric, absolutely prehistoric.”