Don’t let your stress affect your birth control

If you are depressed or simply feeling a bit stressed, you may be finding it harder to keep on top of daily tasks. If one of those daily tasks is to take your birth control pill, not keeping up to date with it can result in an unwanted pregnancy at a particularly difficult time.

This is also true for other forms of birth control, according to a recent study. The study followed 700 women in the US state of Michigan over the course of several years. At the start of the study, the general wellness of all members of the study was assessed, with one in four of the participants indicating that they felt either depressed or that they were going through a time of stress. As the study progressed, it noted some interesting findings, which could have a significant impact on the wellbeing of women everywhere.

Firstly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it reported that women who used a high-maintenance style of birth control such as the pill or condoms (i.e. a method that has to be remembered each and every time you have sexual intercourse) were more likely to forget to use it some of the time, thus putting themselves at risk for an unplanned pregnancy.

What is significant is that the women who had indicated that they were feeling depressed or stressed were far more likely to use their chosen birth-control method inconsistently when compared directly to the women who had reported no stress or depression. The figures showed that a whopping 40 percent of those in the depressed group were using their chosen method inconsistently, as opposed to 25% in the group that reported no emotional difficulties.

Possible reasons for this connection include depression making day-to-day tasks more of a challenge and side-effects of birth control being harder to cope with if you are already feeling low. The main thing to take away from this study is to be sure that if you are feeling low and not planning on becoming pregnant, you choose a form of birth control that doesn’t need you to think about it or focus on it regularly, until you feel more able to cope again.

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