Condoms, diaphragms, copper IUDs, and other nonhormonal options are the best forms of birth control for women who are bipolar. These birth control options are best because they don’t contain hormones that can impact your mood and interfere with your bipolar medication.
How Hormonal Birth Control Impacts Mood
Studies into the impact of hormonal birth control methods, including emergency contraceptives, on women’s moods have been mixed. Some studies have shown bipolar women taking hormonal birth control methods have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts. Progestin-only pills and the levonorgestrel IUD were shown to have a particularly negative effect. Other studies suggested women on hormonal birth control felt happier and more energetic.
For people with bipolar disorder, the idea of hormones impacting their mood in any way can be scary. It’s important to remember that hormonal birth control was designed for women who aren’t living with a mood disorder. Estrogen and progesterone impact our ability to regulate our emotions. Hormonal birth control also depletes supplies of mood-supporting magnesium, tryptophan, and vitamins. These changes might have little impact on women with good mental health, but they could harm women with bipolar disorder.
Drug Interactions With Hormonal Birth Control
Hormonal birth control can also interact with drugs used to treat mood disorders, including bipolar disorder. Antidepressants, often used to treat bipolar lows, may be less effective when combined with hormonal birth control, especially near a withdrawal bleed. Hormonal birth control that contains a lot of estrogen can also elevate levels of serotonin, artificially boosting mood.
Using Nonhormonal Birth Control With Bipolar Disorder
Thankfully there are many forms of birth control that don’t contain hormones, including condoms, diaphragms, and copper IUDs. Since they don’t alter the body’s chemistry, they won’t artificially elevate or drop moods. They also ensure that bipolar medication can work as intended.
Is Any Birth Control Pill Safe for People Who Are Bipolar?
Some people with bipolar disorder find low-dose birth control pills, including Seasonique and Yasmin, work well for them. However, every person reacts to medications differently. Speak to a Nurx™ care provider about your history with bipolar disorder before trying any type of hormonal birth control.