OCs don't help or hinder premenstrual mood

April 1, 2004



Oral contraceptive pills do not seem to positively or negatively affect premenstrual mood in most women, according to a nested case­control study from Boston.

Researchers studied a cohort of 658 premenopausal women between the ages of 36 and 45 using OCs. While 16.3% reported their premenstrual mood to worsen with OCs, 12.3% reported improvement. The vast majority reported no effect.

A few predisposing conditions seemed to increase the likelihood of mood swings. Women with previous depression were twice as likely as others to report mood deterioration with pill use, while women with early-onset premenstrual mood disturbance and dysmenorrhea were three times and more than twice as likely, respectively, as others to report pill-associated premenstrual mood improvement.

Joffe H, Cohen LS, Harlow BL. Impact of oral contraceptive pill use on premenstrual mood: predictors of improvement and deterioration. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003;189:1523-1530.