Depression may not be linked to birth control, study finds

Previous research has linked depression with birth control, but a new study suggests that may not be true.

Gina Carlomagno has suffered with depression in the past, and she worried about how hormonal birth control could affect her mood.

"Sometimes with those hormonal imbalances when you're trying to adjust to a new birth control, sometimes those emotions get out of whack," she says. That's a fear doctors hear often.

"We live in a very media-savvy age in a digital media presence, where if one person or a few people end up having a severe side effect to medication, that really gets amplified to every single person," says Dr. Brett Worly from Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center.

To ease patient concerns, Dr. Worly and his team reviewed thousands of studies on the mental health effects of contraceptives. Their research included data tied to various methods of birth control, including pills, injections and implants -- and in every instance their findings were the same.

"The biggest misconception is that hormonal contraception leads to depression," Dr. Worly said. "For most patients, that just doesn't seem like it's the case."

Researchers reviewed the use of birth control in adolescents, postpartum women, and those who have a history of depression.

"Overwhelmingly, this is a safe method and women should feel comfortable making this choice," Dr. Worly said. He believes patient concerns are valid, and wants women to continue having an open and honest discussion with their doctor.

"He goes over the facts. He went through everything with me, and I kind of felt, alright, I feel confident that this is the best choice for me right now," she said.

Bottom line? More research is needed to understand the side effects of contraceptives, and it's complicated because women can be effected in different ways.