Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol and Depression: What's the Link?

Understanding Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol

Before we delve into the link between Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol and depression, it's important to understand what this combination of hormones actually is. Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol is a combination of two hormones, desogestrel (a progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen). This combination is commonly used in oral contraceptives, also known as birth control pills, to prevent pregnancy by inhibiting the release of an egg during the menstrual cycle.

It is essential to know that hormonal birth control methods like this one can have various side effects on the body, including mood swings and depression. In this article, we will explore the possible link between Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol and depression, as well as discuss the ways to manage these side effects.

Investigating the Connection Between Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol and Depression

Many women who use hormonal contraceptives, including those containing Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol, have reported experiencing mood changes and depressive symptoms. While it is not entirely clear why this happens, researchers believe that it may be due to the way these hormones interact with the neurotransmitters in our brains, such as serotonin and dopamine.

Several studies have looked into the relationship between hormonal contraceptives and depression, with mixed results. Some studies have found a significant link, while others have not. However, it is important to note that individual experiences may vary, and the risk of developing depression while using hormonal contraceptives may also depend on other factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and pre-existing mental health conditions.

Recognizing the Signs of Depression

It is crucial to be aware of the possible symptoms of depression, especially if you are using a hormonal contraceptive like Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol. Some common signs of depression include persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness; loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed; changes in appetite and weight; sleep disturbances; fatigue; difficulty concentrating; and thoughts of death or suicide.

If you suspect you may be experiencing depression while using Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol, it is vital to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help determine whether your symptoms are related to your birth control and discuss alternative contraceptive options if necessary.

Managing the Side Effects of Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol

If you are experiencing mood changes or depressive symptoms while using Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol, there are several steps you can take to help manage these side effects. First, talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms and discuss whether it may be necessary to switch to a different type of contraceptive. In some cases, a different combination of hormones or a non-hormonal method may be more suitable.

In addition to discussing contraceptive options with your healthcare provider, there are several lifestyle changes that may help improve your mood and overall well-being. These include regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, practicing stress management techniques like meditation or deep breathing, and staying connected with friends and family for support.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your depressive symptoms persist or worsen while using Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol, it is important to seek professional help. A mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychiatrist, can help you determine the cause of your depression and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help manage your symptoms. It is crucial to follow your healthcare provider's recommendations and keep them informed about any changes in your mood or overall well-being.


While the link between Desogestrel-Ethinyl Estradiol and depression is still not entirely clear, it is essential to be aware of the potential side effects and take steps to manage them. If you are experiencing mood changes or depressive symptoms while using this contraceptive, talk to your healthcare provider to discuss alternative options and seek professional help if necessary. By staying informed and proactive about your mental health, you can ensure that you are taking the best possible care of yourself.