The Association Between Hormonal Contraception and Depression
The prevalence of hormonal contraceptive use has increased the importance for research on the safety and possible effects hormones of on the female body. The most recently published research indicated a strong association, especially amongst adolescent females (Skovlund et al, 2016). Females are more likely than males to report a history of major depressive symptoms, with onset typically beginning after puberty and continuing through adulthood (Kessler et al, 1993). This may indicate that one's biological anatomy has a large effect on the prevalence of depression. Previous studies have researched the effects of hormonal contraception and depression in adolescent-aged and adult females, but has not yet focused on the high-risk college population. Participants included in this study either use hormonal contraceptives or nothing at all. The research design is a cross-sectional questionnaire with four main sections: 1) demographics and background, 2) hormonal contraception background, 3) antidepressant use and previous depression diagnosis background, and 4) the Beck Depression Inventory (Beck, 1961). Present research will collect data from participants on what form of hormonal or nonhormonal contraceptives were used, illustrating if one has a higher risk of depression. It is important for females to understand what risks they are taking when deciding on a method of contraception to determine which is the best fit for them. From this study, I hope to contribute new research from a population that has not yet been looked at to determine whether college females are at higher risk of depression from hormonal contraceptive use.