Les femmes sous contraception hormonale tenteraient moins de se suicider, selon une étude.

While many studies have already made the link between taking a hormonal contraceptive and mood changes or mental health problems, a Finnish study claims that users would actually show lower suicide rates.

The contraceptive pill would it actually limit the suicide rate? If more and more French women under 25 are getting rid of it, it still remains the first method of contraception chosen among young women aged 15 to 24. According to a new study by researchers at the University of Helsinki and presented at the European Congress of Psychiatry, women on hormonal contraceptives – the pill, the implant, the intrauterine system (IUS) and the patch – would be actually less likely to attempt suicide.

The study involved 587,823 women over the period 2017-2019, half of whom were taking a hormonal contraceptive. “Initial reports from 2018 and 2020 indicated that the use of hormonal contraceptives was associated with a higher number/risk of suicides and suicide attempts. We have undertaken to confirm these data”said Dr. Elena Toffol, project manager.

In question, the change in sex hormone levelsin particular progesterone, which would impact the areas of the brain controlling cognitive functioning and the processing of emotions.

Good news for contraceptive users

But the study ultimately revealed some unexpected results, “and that’s good news for contraceptive users.”, continues the researcher. Non-users of hormonal contraception, or those using another form of contraception, were 37% more likely to attempt suicide compared to those on hormonal birth control. Between 2017 and 2019, out of all the participants, 344 suicide attempts took place among women on hormonal contraceptives compared to 474 among those who did not.

If the suicide rates were similar with or without contraception among 15-19 year olds, it was lower among women with contraception between 20 and 24 years old, and between 25 and 29 years old. “Women, especially young women, have higher rates of depression and suicide attempts than men of the same age.”says Dr. Toffol.

What impact on the risk of depression?

We found that women with no psychiatric history and using hormonal contraceptives, especially those containing ethinyl estradiol, had a significantly reduced risk of suicide attempt compared to women not using any hormonal contraceptive.“, concluded Dr. Toffol.

The next step for the researcher? Use data from this same population to examine the risk of depression related to taking a hormonal contraceptive.

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