Birth Control That Won’t Make You Crazy (Really!)

birth control hormones mood swings

If this new method works, you'll have to blame any craziness on something other than your birth control! | Source: Shutterstock

Birth control can be pretty awesome, whether or not you’re taking it to prevent pregnancy: a lot of girls take hormonal birth control to ease cramps, lighten their periods, balance hormones, or help with acne, even if they aren’t sexually active. And when you’re on the right pill for you, it’s great.

But if you’ve ever tried a birth control pill that made you moody or mopey, you know how frustrating it can feel–because a lot of times, you can’t even put your finger on why you’re so miserable. So you swap pills again and again until you find something that works, which can take a while since you typically have to wait about three months to see how your body adjusts to each one. Annoying, right?

This is because estrogen, the main hormone in most birth control pills, can affect your moods–similarly to how the day before your period comes, a simple (and honestly, lame) Hallmark commercial can make you spontaneously start bawling. It sucks, but soon all these birth control-related mood swings might be a thing of the past.

Here’s why: A new birth control is being developed that may not make you feel so whacked out all the time. Docs in the U.S. and a few other countries are working on a new vaginal ring (like the Nuva Ring) that will prevent pregnancy and possibly lighten your period. And here’s the kicker–the ring they’re testing doesn’t have the estrogen or progesterone that pills have, so it may be less likely to make you weepy, whiny, or grouchy!

The ingredient they’re using instead of traditional hormones is called ulipristal acetate (UPA), the same stuff used in ella, which is an emergency contraception pill. This is not to be confused with the “abortion pill,” which is Mifeprex–they work a lot differently. Most forms of emergency contraception release progestin, which, like birth control pills, “tricks” your body into thinking you’re already preggers. Ella works a little differently because it instead suppresses the hormone progesterone, which delays ovulation for five to seven days. This gives sperm, which can live in your uterus for about a week, time to die before an egg is released, making you a lot less likely to get pregnant. It won’t work if you’re already pregnant!

That said, docs want to see if continued low doses of UPA can prevent ovulation, too. Bonus? Other estrogen-related side effects, like headaches or sore boobs, are a lot less likely if this stuff turns out to work.

The new ring is still in the trial stages, so it will probably be a while before we can buy and try it for ourselves. But we’re just stoked to know that they’re working on this! Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some card commercials to cry over.

Has your birth control ever made you moody? Have you ever had to change birth control pills because they made you feel nuts? What birth control are you using now? Have your birth control’s side effects ever made you stop taking them? Tell us in the comments!

Need To Get On Birth Control? Here’s How

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  • Masters

    The Nuvaring has made me miserable and have me splitting headaches even though I am generally a very optimistic and happy person. My boyfriend has noticed my change in moods and I am going to switch the form of contraception-hopefully one that will not give me as much trouble. So just to let you know, keep that In mind if your considering the Nuvaring-if you seem unusually unhappy, that is probably the reason.

  • Sarah

    After dvt I had to stop taking Yasmin and tried the mini pill which just made me bleed for weeks at a time, depo and the Mirena coil also did this. I am currently taking no contraception and even though I am under the most stress I have ever been, due to a career change, I am the calmest I ever remember being since my teens and have stopped screaming at everyone for the smallest of things.
    I had a difficult childhood and always put my moods down to my past, if I’d realised it was down to contraception hormones it may have saved my marriage! Not long after I first started the pill in my teens I assaulted a boyfriend and have a criminal record because of it. Now I’m wondering was the pill a factor in that too.
    Guess I’ll never know. What I do know is that I much prefer my calm happy self that I am since giving up contraception!

    • Andrea

      Hi there, exactly the same here!!! But I can’t stay off hormones as I have endometriosis and it’s growing fast, so I had to go on the Mirena 7 weeks ago. Feeling the mood swings, depression and anxiety already.
      A question: what form of birth control do you use now?

      • Alissa Henkel

        I’m going through the same mood swings, depression and even verbalassaulted my fisnce. I had no idea what was happening g to me until we went to counseling and my therapist saw me freak out irrationally and wanted to put me in anger manage meant. The thing is i have a fantastic fiance who knew this just wsant who am and that this anger was coming from somewhere else …a chemical imblance. Im currently on Yaz. I’m researching what I can take that wont do this but I don’t think it exists. I just have to keep in mind that when I feel sad or angry that this really is just the drugs in taking for now that’s all I have. I hope I do find some pill or way to fix all the side effects..itchy legs is one too. Oh and anxiety jealousy worry.. God I’m a wreck from this crap. Thank god my fiance is so logical when I’m not.

  • candace

    Hi i been having bad mood swing and i have the iud for about 4 years now and their days i would be so depress and loss. I just want to see would be a bad to change something different like the pill something that want make me feel so depress and loss.