Many women experience a slew of side effects while taking hormonal birth control, or “the pill”. The most common problem is mood swings. It is often asked if there is a form of hormonal birth control without the side effect of mood swings. That is a difficult question to answer, since women's bodies react differently to medications.
If a woman is experiencing side effects when she hasn't in the past, her doctor may need to prescribe her a different dosage. However, with side effects like mood swings hovering as a constant possibility, alternatives may be a better option.
How Birth Control Affects Mood Swings
The addition of external hormones can cause sudden and unexpected changes in mood.The birth control pill uses artificial hormones to regulate the menstrual cycle and prevent ovulation. These hormones cause shifts in the body's natural hormone levels, which can result in side effects like mood swings. Because hormones play a part in the regulation of mood, the addition of external hormones can cause sudden and unexpected changes in mood, but also it depends on brands and dosages.
Some doctors advise that birth control with fewer side effects usually has a lower dosage of estrogen. There are also reports of women having more problems on lower dosages pills than higher ones. As always, the side effects experienced depend on the individual woman and the dosage her doctor may recommend.
Alternatives to Birth Control
Lifestyle changes can alleviate irregular periods.Many women's primary reason for taking the birth control pill is to regulate their menstrual cycle. When used for this purpose, mood swings are an unfortunate side effect. However, for those experiencing irregular periods, there are other forms of treatment besides “the pill”. Lifestyle changes like increasing exercise, reducing stress, and eating a balanced diet can alleviate irregular periods. In addition, alternative medicines, especially hormone-regulating herbal supplements, can correct imbalanced hormone levels - incidentally, the main cause of both irregular periods and mood swings.
In summary, Birth control can affect your body from headaches to nausea, for women taking hormonal birth control and experiencing mood swings as a side effect, there are several options. First, a different dosage may be appropriate and reduce side effects. Additionally, other treatment methods can relieve mood swings and manage irregular periods. If the birth control pill is doing more harm than good, women are urged to talk to their doctors about other possible methods of contraception.
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- Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Molecular Psychiatry.(n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress".Retrieved from www.psycheducation.org.
- The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings".Retrieved from www.thehealthcenter.info.