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Can Pregnancy Hormones Cause Depression

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What Are The Symptoms Of Antenatal Depression

Hormonal Changes in Postpartum Depression

“Pregnancy is meant to be such a happy time but because we dont talk about mental health in pregnancy women dont know that it can be a very different story.”

Typical signs of depression include if you:

  • feel generally down most of the time
  • cant be bothered with things
  • cant concentrate or make decisions
  • dont enjoy life
  • feel irritable and dont want to be with other people
  • feel restless and agitated
  • feel guilty
  • think about harming yourself or suicide.

You may not have all these symptoms and they may come on gradually or you may suddenly start to feel very low.

If you feel like you want to harm yourself or feel like you want to die, its important to tell someone. This could be a family member, friend, your GP or midwife. Help is available now if you need it. You can call the Samaritans on 116 123.

“I wasnt sleeping well and Id wake up with that horrible feeling of doom starting every day. Id cry at the drop of a hat about things that wouldnt normally make me cry.”

Why Do People Quit Birth Control

Aside from trying to get pregnant, some women stop taking hormonal contraception because of how it makes them feel. One of the biggest side effects and most talked about is hormonal birth controls negative effect on libido .

Another commonly cited side effect of hormonal birth control is its effect on mood, anxiety, and depression. Anxiety and depression have been shown to fluctuate when women take hormonal birth control . But its difficult to say whether those changes are due to birth control or other external factors that can impact mental health .

If youre experiencing any of these side effects, quitting hormonal birth control might provide you with relief.

Thyroid Hormone Supplementation In Depression

Thyroid hormones have been used as an adjunct to antidepressant therapy since the late 1960s to accelerate clinical response to antidepressants and to potentiate clinical response in non-responders to antidepressants .

Fewer studies assessed the efficacy of T4 in the treatment of affective disorders. Joffe and Singer found a significantly higher response to tricyclic antidepressants with T3 compared to T4 . However, use of T4 in supraphysiological doses to treatment-resistant unipolar and bipolar depression was effective in approximately 50% of patients as reported by Baumgartner in a review of eight open clinical trials . Surprisingly, T4 in high doses was well tolerated even in patients treated for up to 51 months. However, in healthy subjects, supraphysiological T4 doses were less well tolerated due to higher increments in thyroid hormones after supplementation . A possible explanation would be a greater inactivation of T4 to rT3 in depressed patients compared to healthy subjects .

Clearly, further research is needed to ascertain whether thyroid hormone supplementation may effectively accelerate and potentiate therapeutic response to antidepressant drugs. In addition, the role of genetic variations in deiodinase enzymes in the response to antidepressive therapy merits further investigation.

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What Should I Do To Treat My Mood Swings

It is important to understand you are not alone mood swings are just another aspect of the pregnancy experience. Knowing that what you are experiencing is normal and somewhat expected may help you cope.

The following list includes ways to manage your stress level:

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Take a break during the day to relax
  • Get regular physical activity
  • Spend time with your partner
  • Take a nap.
  • See a movie with a friend
  • Dont be so hard on yourself
  • Get a massage

Can Pregnancy Hormones Cause Depression


Hormonal imbalances can lead to many symptoms of depression. Tip : Challenge Negative Thinking. Depression puts a negative spin on everything Hormones trigger mood swings during pregnancy, but its not only the hormones. The discomforts of pregnancy can cause emotional distress as well.

Yes, BC is hormonal and changes in hormone levels can cause depression. During my depression in pregnancy, I had felt I had some control over myself whereas on the pill, my depression had no reason and the suicidal thoughts were so random.

The National Center for Complementary and also Integrative Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated, People that practice yoga do maintain their health and wellness, enhance physical conditioning, ease stress, and improve the quality of life. Psychological concepts put on the depressive stage of bipolar illness resemble those recommended for unipolar depression. Addiction to drugs and alcohol does not simply harm the life of the specific however also has major effects on enjoyed ones, producing spells of depressi.

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Myths About Postnatal Depression

Postnatal depression is often misunderstood and there are many myths surrounding it.

These include:

  • postnatal depression is less severe than other types of depression in fact, it’s as serious as other types of depression
  • postnatal depression is entirely caused by hormonal changes it’s actually caused by many different factors
  • postnatal depression will soon pass unlike the “baby blues”, postnatal depression can persist for months if left untreated and in a minority of cases it can become a long-term problem.
  • postnatal depression only affects women research has actually found that up to 1 in 10 new fathers become depressed after having a baby

These factors are equally true of antenatal depression.

What Birth Control Methods Are We Talking About

When it comes to adverse effects, the pill is often the first contraceptive method that springs to mind.

But theres a link between anxiety and all forms of hormonal contraception, says Dr. Enam Abood from Londons Harley Street Health Centre.

A found hormonal contraceptive users had higher rates of anxiety than nonusers.

And a noted that users of IUDs containing the hormone levonorgestrel also had higher anxiety rates.

But the pill seems to have been the focus of more research than other methods.

Combination oral contraceptives and progesterone-only minipills are usually associated with depression and anxiety more than other options of birth control, Lakhani says.

Between 4 and 10 percent of users report mood problems while on the combined pill. Most people, however, say theyre

However, the review did conclude that non-oral combined hormonal contraceptive methods may result in fewer mood changes.

There are a few simple reasons.

First, there isnt enough research into the mental and emotional effects of hormonal birth control.

Second, the research that does exist has produced conflicting results .

And third: All of the above, plus varying research methods, has meant its impossible to prove cause and effect.

In other words, researchers are currently uncertain. Its likely to remain that way until more studies are carried out.

If you have a personal history of anxiety or mood disorders, you may be more prone to the emotional effects of birth control.


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Postpartum Depression Causes And Risk Factors

If you have PPD, itâs not because you did anything wrong. Experts think it happens for many reasons, and those can be different for different people. Some things that can raise the chances of postpartum depression include:

  • A history of depression prior to becoming pregnant, or during pregnancy
  • Age at time of pregnancy
  • Ambivalence about the pregnancy
  • Children
  • Family history of mood disorders
  • Going through an extremely stressful event, like a job loss or health crisis
  • Having a child with special needs or health problems
  • Having twins or triplets
  • Living alone

Thereâs no one cause of postpartum depression, but these physical and emotional issues may contribute:

  • Hormones. The dramatic drop in estrogen and progesterone after you give birth may play a role. Other hormones produced by your thyroid gland also may drop sharply and make you feel tired, sluggish and depressed.
  • Lack of sleep. When you’re sleep-deprived and overwhelmed, you may have trouble handling even minor problems.
  • Anxiety. You may be anxious about your ability to care for a newborn.
  • Self-image. You may feel less attractive, struggle with your sense of identity, or feel that you’ve lost control over your life. Any of these issues can contribute to postpartum depression.

What Factors Increase My Risk Of Being Depressed During Pregnancy

Low progesterone symptoms: How your menstrual cycle hormones may be causing anxiety and depression

There are many different factors that can add to your risk of developing depression during your pregnancy. These risks can include:

  • Having a history of depression or premenstrual dysphoric disorder .
  • Your age at time of your pregnancy the younger you are, the higher the risk.
  • Living alone.
  • Feeling ambivalent about your pregnancy.

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Modern Motherhood: What Really Happens To Your Pelvic Floor

Or, women may feel more comfortable bringing up their mental health concerns with a therapist or psychologist, or with their primary care physician.

It doesnt necessarily need to be only your OB whos following you, Gray said. But certainly I think its important that you have someone to keep an eye on your mood.

Postpartum Depression Is Different From The Baby Blues

Postpartum depression is depression that occurs after having a baby. Feelings of postpartum depression are more intense and last longer than those of baby blues, a term used to describe the worry, sadness, and tiredness many women experience after having a baby.

The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to symptoms of depression, but may also include:

  • Crying more often than usual.
  • Feelings of anger.
  • Feeling distant from your baby.
  • Worrying or feeling overly anxious.
  • Thinking about hurting yourself or your baby.
  • Doubting your ability to care for your baby.

If you think you have depression, seek treatment from your health care provider as soon as possible.

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Adrenal And Thyroid Health

The pill, the ring, IUDs, implants and the patch all mess with your thyroid and your adrenal glands. We know that these also affect mood.

Hypothyroid women are more prone to having depression and anxiety.

The adrenal glands help regulate inflammation. When function is compromised, this can also lead to mood symptoms.

My Prenatal Depression Symptoms

Postpartum depression

On top of the shock I felt from my sudden pregnancy, I suffered from debilitating morning sickness. I was never the type to vomit, but I felt ill most of the time, had trouble eating much, and lost a bunch of weight. The weight loss made me very concerned for my baby. My midwives assured me that I could eat nothing but Wonder Bread for those first few months and my baby would be fine, but I still worried.

I worried about everything. When I caught my son’s fever, I worried that my unborn baby would be harmed in some way. When I lay down next to my son at bedtime, I worried that I was destroying our tight bond by letting another child into it. I doubted whether we should have gotten pregnant with this baby at all.

If I felt cramps or twinges, I almost wished I would miscarry. I wanted a way outnot just from the pregnancy itself, but from my tortured, obsessive thoughts. It hurts to even type those words, because now that my second child is here, I can’t imagine not having him. But those were some of the kind of dark thoughts that raced through my mind in the first trimester.

One of the worst things about it was that I began worrying about the thoughts themselves, wondering if there was something severely wrong with me for having them. The wash of pregnancy hormones weren’t helping either. It felt like three months of PMS tinged with daily anxiety attacks.

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Should Women Who Have A History Of Depression Or Anxiety Steer Clear Of Hormonal Birth Control

TLDR: No. Most women benefit from having a stable level of hormone on hormonal birth control vs. the ups and downs of NOT being on hormonal birth control. When you are not on hormonal birth control, then your hormones cycle up and down. When you are on monophasic birth control, then your hormones are maintained at a steady, smooth level. And if you skip the optional bleeding week, even smoother.

The research is still not clear as to whether hormonal birth control pills make symptoms worse in women who are prone to anxiety and depression.

The 2017 Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that depression is not a contraindication to hormonal contraception for women with depression, citing a lack of evidence supporting a causal relationship.

One study indicated that women who take combination oral contraceptives or progesterone-only minipills were more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant than women who did not take these types of contraceptives. However, this could be due to other factors such as women on birth control are more likely to be in a relationship and at risk of pregnancy, both of which can cause depression and anxiety.

How Is Depression Treated

The two common types of treatment for depression are:

  • Talk therapy. This involves talking to a therapist, psychologist, or social worker to learn to change how depression makes you think, feel, and act.
  • Medicine. Your doctor can prescribe an antidepressant medicine. These medicines can help relieve symptoms of depression.

These treatment methods can be used alone or together. If you are depressed, your depression can affect your baby. Getting treatment is important for you and your baby. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of taking medicine to treat depression when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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Depression Symptoms In Women Due To Hormones

It is common for menopause to prompt emotions of sadness and depression in women. It is estimated that between 8% and 15% in menopause experience depression in women of some form, often beginning in perimenopause.

The onset of perimenopause and menopause result in a variety of physical and emotional symptoms which can cause stress, frustration, and ultimately depression. These symptoms, added to an already full load of responsibilities with your family, work, finances, etc., can be just too much to deal with. It doesnt help that most women dread menopause all of their lives due to the horror stories that are passed along by friends and family members.

Beyond that, depression, like stress, may be another symptom of menopause. The hormone imbalance associated with perimenopause and menopause inhibits your body from managing stress and experiencing positive moods. Hormones and depression in women are closely related.

How I Reached A Diagnosis

4 Hormones that Prevent Pregnancy | Hormonally Induced Infertility

My pregnancy happened more than four years ago, and I have buried most of those memories. In 2016, though, Juli Fraga, a friend and psychologist I know, shared an article she wrote for The Washington Post about a topic I had barely heard of: prenatal depression. I had certainly heard of postpartum depression I myself had suffered from bouts of postpartum depression and anxiety with my first child. But I didn’t know there even was a thing as prenatal depression.

As soon as I read the article, a lightbulb went off in my head, and I was flooded with memories of those difficult months at the beginning of my second pregnancy. I thought to myself: That’s what I had. And I didn’t even know it was a thing.

According to Juli, prenatal depression is something a staggering number of women suffer from. “Prenatal depression is more common than women realize,” she shared. “It affects up to 20% of pregnant women, and women who have suffered from depression in the past are at an even higher risk of developing this maternal mental health concern.”

Juli added that prenatal anxiety is about as prevalent as prenatal depression, affecting about 20% of pregnant mothers. Many of these women are dealing with excessive worry like I wasand even symptoms of paranoia. Prenatal depression and anxiety can actually be quite severe in some cases. The problem is, most mothers don’t know it even exists, and don’t seek help.

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Why Isnt Anyone Talking About Prenatal Depression

Two months after the nadir of my prenatal depression, my husband can finally joke that he knew things were dire when I started envying Mad MensBetty Draper Francis. While Betty was pregnant, I explained to him at the time, no one expected her to do anything but lie around all day in bed in her shortie nightgowns. I was nine weeks pregnant then, and so irrationally anxious about how I was going to manage the insertion of a much-wanted baby into my already busy working life that I hadnt slept for three days, and cried pretty much continuously. My morning sickness was so unrelenting that I was barely keeping any food down, and when I took the short walk from our bed to the kitchen, my body would shake.

In my saner moments, I told myself: You will not be the first working woman to have a baby. You have a supportive husband and a good marriage and a boatload of other sundry privileges. You will be fine. But those reasonable thoughts were drowned out by a bleak combination of terror and regret. I had just started a new, demanding job, and every morning at 7 when I pulled my MacBook onto my lap, sinking deeper into bed, I felt so unlike myself, so incompetent, that I wished I wasnt pregnant. I never considered abortion for a second, but I longed for some alternate universe where I could claw out of my sad self, leaving the broken shell behind to grow the baby while I resumed being a person again.

How Could The Pill Be Contributing To Depression

There are several mechanisms at play and more research is needed to understand the far-reaching impacts of the pill. What we do know is the pill depletes nutrients crucial for brain health, disrupts thyroid hormone, causes issues with your adrenals, and inflammation in your gut. Any of these can cause someone to feel depressed.

But more recently there has been evidence showing that pill users experience a decrease in neuroprotective molecules and have increased levels of neurotoxic chemicals compared to women who are not on the pill. That means being on the pill can be bad news for your brain.

How does this happen? It all comes down to how the amino acid tryptophan gets processed while on the pill.

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