Hormonal Contraceptives and Mood: Review of the Literature and Implications for Future Research

  • Thalia RobakisEmail author
  • Katherine E. Williams
  • Lexi Nutkiewicz
  • Natalie L. Rasgon
Reproductive Psychiatry and Women's Health (CN Epperson and L Hantsoo, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Reproductive Psychiatry and Women's Health


Purpose of Review

We examine recent studies that investigate the effects of hormonal contraception on mood in different populations of women, including women in the general population and women with diagnosed psychiatric and gynecologic disorders. We address the mechanisms of several types of hormonal contraceptives and assess how these may affect mood and gynecologic disorders.

Recent Findings

The effects of hormonal contraceptives seem to be most relevant in selected subsets of women, as they may promote improved mental health in particular psychiatric disorders such as PMDD.


Currently, there is no consistent evidence for negative effects of most hormonal contraceptives in the general population. Even though some studies reveal that certain individuals appear susceptible to negative mood effects from some forms of hormonal contraceptives, more research is needed to better identify these susceptible individuals.


Oral contraceptive Mood Depressive disorders Anxiety disorders PCOS 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thalia Robakis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katherine E. Williams
    • 1
  • Lexi Nutkiewicz
    • 1
  • Natalie L. Rasgon
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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