If your moods are all over the place when your period’s approaching, birth control might provide the mood stability you’re jonesing for.
Some methods are definitely better than others when it comes to mood, so we’re digging in deep to help you find the best of the best.
Choosing birth control for mood stability is about more than just the hormones. Here are some important things to consider when narrowing down your choices.
Some methods might require a pelvic exam
Some birth control methods, for instance intrauterine devices (IUDs), require a pelvic exam.
Pelvic exams can cause gender dysphoria in transgender men and nonbinary folks, and they can be traumatic for survivors of sexual abuse. So this may affect your decision when considering birth control options.
You don’t have to stick to the same method forever
You want to make the right choice, but don’t stress too hard. It’s not like you need to commit to the same method forever.
If one birth control method doesn’t have the impact you’re after, causes too many side effects, or you just don’t like it, you can always switch to another.
Some — not all — methods may require a guardian’s consent
Rather not let a parent or guardian in on your birth control? We get it.
You can get birth control in most states without a guardian’s consent, but not with all healthcare professionals.
Contact a local clinic or trusted healthcare professional before making an appointment to learn more about your state’s laws. Thanks to confidentiality laws, they can’t share what you discuss.
If you’re hoping to have your birth control covered by a parent or guardian’s health insurance, call the insurance provider first to ask if the services you access will show up on your parent or guardian’s statement.
Your other option is to pay out of pocket or try to access free or lower cost birth control in your area.
Birth control costs vary widely
Birth control options for mood stability range in cost from free to well over $1,000. How much you’ll pay — if anything — depends on your location, your annual income, and any health insurance coverage you may have.
As well, some methods last longer and might be more cost-effective in the long run.
If you need help covering the cost, many family planning clinics and health centers have programs to help subsidize the cost. (Details in a minute.)
All birth control methods have something going for them, but not every method will be the cat’s pajamas for you. It comes down to different variables and which matter to you most.
Here’s how they measure up in terms of accessibility, ease of use, and more.
If accessibility is what you’re after, these options are the easiest to get your mitts on. In some states they’re available online or over the counter. In some places you may not even need a prescription!
These options include:
Some research shows that most hormonal birth control methods can positively impact premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, like mood swings, but those containing lower amounts of androgenic progestins may have
This — at least partly — explains why one type of birth control gets top honors as most effective for mood stability.
Yaz, a combination birth control pill, is currently the only birth control pill approved to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe form of PMS. It contains drospirenone, a fourth generation progestin with low androgenic activity.
Other birth control methods that work well at keeping hormones — and your moods — in a steady state include:
Extended or continuous dose birth control pills win the popularity contest thanks to the long period-free intervals. No period typically means no PMS symptoms, like mood swings.
The minipill is up there, too, because it ticks a lot of boxes as far as birth control perks, like being easy to use and enjoying a lighter flow.
Every body is different, and some are more sensitive to hormones than others. Just because certain methods work wonders on mood stability for some, it doesn’t mean they’ll work for everyone.
Birth control with lower amounts of androgenic progestins, like Yaz for example, may have fewer adverse effects on mood.
Asking yourself these pertinent Qs before choosing a type of birth control for mood stability will help you narrow down your options and find what’s right for you.
How well does it work for this purpose?
Birth control that’s effective in the pregnancy prevention department is important, obvs.
But if mood stability is your main goal, that’s something you need to consider and mention to your healthcare professional, since not all methods have the same effect.
Is it easy to use?
Ease of use is definitely worth considering because it can impact your ability to take as directed for the best results.
For instance, if you’re always on the go and busy AF, you’d probably benefit from a method that you don’t need to remember to take daily.
And since some options involve more than popping a pill, consider how comfortable you are with a method. Like, say, a birth control ring that you need to insert into your V or getting the shot if needles freak you out.
What are the potential side effects?
Like any other med, birth control can cause side effects.
Learn the potential side effects of the options you’re considering to determine if any are deal breakers.
Does it have any other benefits?
Not all side effects are bad. Some birth control methods offer some pretty awesome perks that are worth considering.
How much does it cost?
Money matters, so remember to factor in the cost of the drug or device and any related doctor’s appointments.
Remember, you may have options to help you get your birth control for a lot less or even free, depending on:
- where you live
- if you have health insurance
- if you qualify for Medicaid or another government program
How will it affect any preexisting conditions?
If you have any preexisting conditions, you’ll want to talk with a doctor or other healthcare professional about how different birth control might impact your condition or any meds you may be taking.
This is especially important if you have a history of depression, PMS or PMDD, or another mood disorder, since some people have reported a worsening of symptoms after starting hormonal contraceptives.
A good place to start is with your healthcare professional, if you already have one you’re comfortable with.
You have other options, too:
Need more info? Check out these handy articles:
- “Birth Control Can Cause Mood Swings — Here’s What You Should Know” by Lauren Sharkey
- “Birth Control May Help or Even Worsen PMS — Here’s How to Deal” by Adrienne Santos-Longhurst (That’s me!)
- “How to Figure Out Which Birth Control Method Is Right for You” by Gabrielle Kassel
- “How to Access Free or Low-Cost Birth Control in Each State” by Gabrielle Kassel
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a Canada-based freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed-up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.