I get really bad mood swings on my pill - are there better options?
Birth control pills work using man-made hormones that are similar to the natural ones your body produces. Like your natural hormones, the man-made ones can also have an effect on your mood. Even small changes in the balance of your hormones can have an effect on your sleep cycle, sex drive, and overall mood.
Mood swings can also get worse for a similar reason during your pill-free week when taking the combined pill, because the sudden drop in your oestrogen levels causes a hormonal imbalance. Taking the combined pill back to back, without a pill-free week, may help with your mood swings and other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Some studies have shown that the combined pill, which contains oestrogen and progesterone, may have less of a negative effect on your overall mood than the progesterone-only mini-pill.
If you do get bad mood swings, then low-dose pills (which have a lower concentration of oestrogen) are less likely to cause mood swings, and may mean that any you do get are less intense. Low-dose contraceptive pills include Gedarel 20/150, Mercilon, and Millinette 20/150.
Because your body is different from everyone else’s, the way it responds to the hormonal changes caused by the pill will be different. Even so, most people are more likely to get side effects like mood swings in the first few months as the body gets used to the new hormones from the pill. So, if you do get these early side effects they may get better over time. You may need to try a few different pills in order to find the right pill that reduces how often you get mood swings and how bad they are.
That being said, if you are worried about mood swings then the best place to start is the combined pill, which is sometimes used as a treatment for symptoms of PMS.