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Starting Birth Control Pill As A Teen Is Linked To Depression In A New Study

Going on The Pill back in high school was a pretty common thing for many. In addition to helping women prevent unwanted pregnancies, it also worked miracles for helping to regulate your period and manage symptoms of many different conditions. A study from 2011 noted that 18% of American girls between the ages of 13 and 18 were on oral contraceptives, which had lead to current studies about the link between being on the pill and depression.

The new study, which was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry looked further into this link, and even though the people involved in the study shared with that more research still needs to be done, it's still a factor to take into consideration.

Conducted at the University of British Columbia, the study was done through examination of data from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a survey of health across America. The researchers were specifically looking for a link between teenage oral contraceptive use and depression. Postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Christine Anderl, and lead author of the study, told Bustle, "We analyzed data on more than 1,200 women and found that teenage birth control pill users were 1.7 to 3 times more likely to be clinically depressed in adulthood than women who had not used birth control pills during their teenage years."

An important component to note is that the research for this specific study did not look into the "why." This is why a lot more research needs to be done in this area. Dr. Anderl suggests that, "Our results suggest that adolescence may be a sensitive period during which birth control pill use could increase women’s likelihood to develop depression until years after first taking them," however, this thought is still just a speculation at this point.

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If you find yourself worrying about yourself taking the pill or your teenage daughter taking it, the study doesn't mean that taking the pill will most definitely lead to depression. The study is only suggesting that researchers have found a link, which could lead to bigger conclusions later on. In addition, this specific study only looked into oral contraceptives, and does not include the many different kinda of birth control that are also on the market.

Dr. Frances Chen, PhD, associate professor and senior author of the study, tells Bustle, "Although we statistically controlled for all variables in the dataset that we felt might provide a plausible alternative explanation for the relationship between teenage birth control pill use and depression in adulthood (including age at first period, and age at first sexual intercourse), it would be premature to conclude that birth control pill use during the teenage years causes increased depression risk in adulthood."

READ NEXT: Soon We Might Be Able To Wear Our Birth Control As Jewelry

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