Hormones and depression: Today, millions of women around the world use hormonal contraceptives that have expanded beyond the pill to patches, implants, injections, and uterine devices. Decades of research support their safety, and serious but very rare side effects such as blood clots are finally much better understood. But other areas of research lag, and we still do not know as much as we would like about how these medications affect women’s mental health.

Discussion:

Discuss the guidelines for prescribing hormonal birth control to women with a known history of depression and/or anxiety. How will you manage a patient who reports feeling depressed after starting hormonal birth control?

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