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


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.

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

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Correspondence to Thalia Robakis.

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Robakis, T., Williams, K.E., Nutkiewicz, L. et al. Hormonal Contraceptives and Mood: Review of the Literature and Implications for Future Research. Curr Psychiatry Rep 21, 57 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-1034-z

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  • Oral contraceptive
  • Mood
  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • PCOS