Papers And Originals

Depressive Symptoms and Oral Contraceptives

Br Med J 1970; 4 doi: (Published 17 October 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;4:142
  1. Brenda N. Herzberg,
  2. Anthony L. Johnson,
  3. Susannah Brown


    Of 261 women who completed a self-rating scale for measuring depression, 168 were taking oral contraceptives and 93 were using physical methods of contraception. Of the group of women taking oral contraceptives 6·6% were more severely depressed than any of the control group. There was a significant variation in the depth of depression related to the day of the menstrual cycle in the control group. This association was not found in the oral contraceptive group, where premenstrual depression was limited to the one or two days preceding menstruation.

    Women taking a contraceptive containing lynoestrenol 2·5 mg. and mestranol 0·075 mg. showed a significantly increased incidence of pessimism, feelings of dissatisfaction, crying, and tension, compared with women taking other oral contraceptives and the control group.