Most contraceptive pills are based on a cycle of taking the pill for 21 days, and then stopping the pill for 7 days. Now researchers have found that women’s mood worsens during the 7 pill-free days. This work will be presented at the ECNP congress in Barcelona on 8th October, after recent publication (see notes).
Over the period from April 2021 to June 2022 the researchers studied 120 women who took a range of oral contraceptive pills, and 60 who didn’t. They tested their mood twice a month using a series of validated questionnaires. Those women who used oral contraceptives showed a 7% increased anxiety score and a 13% increase in negative feelings score during the 7-day pill pause.
Commenting, Professor Inger Sundström Poromaa (Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Uppsala, Sweden) said:
“Many women prefer not to have withdrawal bleeding while on hormonal contraceptives. Professor Pletzler’s study provides important and additional evidence why pill-free intervals of hormonal contraceptives can be skipped”.
This is an independent comment, Professor Sundström Poromaa was not involved in this work.
This work will be presented at the ECNP Congress on Sunday 8th October.