As soon as we start feeling tired we go grab a cup of coffee or other caffeinated drink to stay fresh and awake. But if you ...
Feeling sad or anxious? Your reproductive health might be at risk. Women with symptoms of depression or stress are significantly less likely to use birth control consistently, according to a study recently presented at the American Public Health AssociationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s annual meeting. Inconsistent use of birth control can lead to greater risk of unwanted pregnancy and contracting STIs.
Researchers assessed the mental health of 689 18-to-19-year-old women and then asked them to report their sexual activity and birth control usage every week for two and a half years. While the study participants used contraceptives consistently 72 percent of the time, women with moderate-to-severe symptoms of depression were 47 percent less likely to use birth control consistently, and women with moderate-to-severe symptoms of stress were 69 percent less likely to use contraceptive consistently. The reasons given: 31 percent said they forgot, 21 percent didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have their contraceptive method available, 6 percent werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happy with the method, another 6 percent said their partner didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to use the method, and 4 percent werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t trying to avoid pregnancy. The remaining 33 percent didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t specify a reason for not using protection.
Your mental health impacts how well you take care of your physicalÃ¢â‚¬”and reproductiveÃ¢â‚¬”health, says Kelli Stidham Hall, PhD, research investigator at the Population Studies Center at the University of MichiganÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Institute for Social Research, who presented the study findings. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Feeling sad, down, in despair, and worthless can impact general thought processing and can interfere with your ability to make decisions,Ã¢â‚¬Â she says. That includes decisions about contraceptive use, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s especially true when it comes to birth control that requires actual effortÃ¢â‚¬”like remembering to take a pill at the same time every day. Stidham Hall points out that symptoms of depression, like lack of energy or interest, or feeling moderate-to-severe stress, which can make everything you do feel overwhelming, can be major roadblocks to appropriate birth control use.