Oral contraceptives may affect perceived well-being

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  • Feelings of general well-being decreased with oral contraceptive (OC) use.

Why this matters

  • 100 million women use OCs.
  • Changes in well-being may be associated with the high discontinuation rates of OCs.
  • Estrogen and progesterone have effects on the brain.

Key results

  • Well-being decreased (assessed from a change in the Psychological General Well-Being Index [PGWI]) by −4.12 (P=.0085) compared with placebo.
  • Rates of depression (assessed by the Beck Depression Inventory [BDI]) were not different between groups.
  • Serum follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and total free testosterone decreased after 3 mo of treatment.

Study design

  • Single-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel study.
  • Women aged 18-35 y who were willing to begin OCs were randomly assigned into combined monophasic group (n=169) vs placebo (n=17...