Women's wellbeing 'negatively impacted by contraceptive pill'

Women's general wellbeing can be severely affected by the pill, according to new research. Scientists from Sweden have found that healthy women who take the combined contraceptive pill estimate their quality of life being lower than those who don't.

The combined contraceptive pill is one of the most common forms of tablet contraception prescribed to women. Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet and the Stockholm School of Economics split 340 healthy women into two groups, with one half receiving the ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel combined pill and the other half being given a placebo.

Results from the study were published in the Journal of Fertility and Sterility, revealing that those who were taking the contraceptive pill estimated quality of life as being "significantly lower" than those given placebos. Neither group knew what medication they were being given, but those on the pill said that their wellbeing, moods, energy levels, vitality and self-control were all negatively impacted. 

Although there was no evidence to suggest that the combined contraceptive pill increased or caused the symptoms associated with depression, the research did support other studies that suggest women struggle with the side-effects of the drug. 

Lead researcher on the study Angelica Linden Hirschberg said: "Despite the fact that an estimated 100 million women around the world use contraceptive pills we know surprisingly little today about the pill's effect on women's health.

"The scientific base is very limited as regards the contraceptive pill's effect on quality of life and depression and there is a great need for randomised studies where it is compared with placebos."

While the research suggests that the contraceptive pill could have an effect on wellbeing, researchers highlight the fact that the study only used one form of the pill and only ran for three months. Further studies into other forms of the contraceptive pill are required and longer monitoring will give a more accurate idea of the effect on women over time. ADNFCR-2094-ID-801835044-ADNFCR