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Approved Research

Hormonal contraceptive use during adolescence and risk for depression

Principal Investigator: Professor Frances Chen
Approved Research ID: 80668
Approval date: January 11th 2023

Lay summary

More than 100 million women around the world take hormonal birth control pills, and they are particularly popular among teenagers. Although the pill has been found to be highly effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies and generally safe for adults, less is know about their potential side effects for younger users. In our research, we will examine whether and how adolescent use of hormonal contraceptives may be linked to risk for depression. We hope that our research might prompt teens and their parents to talk to their doctors about the risks and benefits associated with different options that are available to them, especially if they have a family history of depression or other reason to think that they might be particularly vulnerable to certain side effects of these medications. Overall, we hope our research will promote more informed dialogue and decision-making about the prescription of different methods of birth control for teenaged women.