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Can Birth Control Pills Cause Anxiety and Panic Attacks?

An article from the Frontiers front medical journal sounds alarmed: birth control pills cause anxiety and depression. Researchers should devote more time to researching this topic.

Birth Control Pills and Anxiety

The connection between birth control pills and anxiety

Hormonal contraceptives have been sold for over 50 years, and they are used by millions of women around the world. And although endogenous steroids are definitely linked to changes in brain structure, the functions, and cognitive effects.

Based on the small number of current scientific data that track mood and mental changes in people using hormonal contraceptives, the scientists argue that the birth control pills are linked to anxiety and may cause a feminizing effect on the brain.

We come to the conclusion that there is an urgent need for more systematic studies, especially in the field of structural, functional and mental changes in the brain as a result of the use of hormonal contraceptives.

Changes in the structure and chemical processes in the brain lead to changes in the consciousness and emotions of the individual, which is subsequently observed in behavior, scientists concluded. If most women take oral contraceptives, such emotional changes can lead to a change in social dynamics. Since many women take birth control pills and feel anxiety symptoms, it’s time to figure out what they’re doing with our brain.

Scientists called hormonal contraceptives a worldwide experiment and claimed that if using steroids and hormones in sports is considered “doping”, then the same actions on the part of women who want to exclude unwanted pregnancy is recommended, despite no proof that such an approach is 100% safe.

Adolescent girls start using hormonal birth control pills at an ever younger age, often almost as soon as they reach puberty. However, most studies on the issue that birth control pills can make anxiety worse focus on postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy.

Especially strongly, scientists are concerned about the fact that most neurological studies involving women do not pay attention to the fact that the patients use hormonal contraceptives.

Usually, scientists used to focus on male participants, as hormonal changes throughout the period affect the results in women – and this is indeed the case. Now a huge number of women are involved in scientific research. This number does not include women taking hormonal drugs for therapeutic purposes but studies do not control the intake of such oral tablets in other participants.

So how do birth control pills affect our psyche?

After analyzing the obtained data about the supposition that birth control pills can worsen anxiety, the researchers found the proof that tablets really change how women perceive and respond to information. Some pieces of research revealed changes in communication, memory impairment, emotional non-stability for those who use contraceptives, they revealed that pills can lead to a structural reorganization of the brain. The researchers also noted that some studies have found a link between oral hormonal contraceptives and mood disorders based on chemical processes, such as depression, fatigue, man, a and anger.

In view of the seriousness of the evidence presented by a very limited amount of data, scientists called for a more thorough study of the side effects of birth control pills including anxiety.


We came to the conclusion that there is a great demand for additional studies of whether or not their birth control pills can cause anxiety and other mental disorders. Future research aimed at analyzing the “normal” functioning of the brain should monitor the use of hormonal contraceptives in women.

Since the number of females using oral pills for prevention of pregnancy is constantly increasing, and the age of the first intake of birth control pills decreases, the mental changes and behavior can have serious effects on the society.