Does the pill make you have anxiety? (+5 Other side effects)

In this post, we will be explaining if the pill makes you have anxiety and the risk factors involved. We will also be checking out some other side effects of the pill and list out the various ways through which you can cope with anxiety caused by the pill.

Does the pill make you have anxiety?

Yes, the pill makes you have anxiety. Apart from anxiety, getting on the birth control pill can also cause depression and other mental side-effects. This is because the pill actually regulates your sex hormones which play a huge role in your mood and the way you feel.

The effects of pills on mood are not clearly understood and can vary from person to person. The effects also largely depend on the existing mood and mental health status of the person and if they have any pre-existing mental health conditions.

Risk factors which cause anxiety while on the pill

Getting on birth control pills does not cause anxiety in everyone who consumes them and the intensity of effects can also vary. Some risk factors which can cause anxiety in a person when they are on the pill are:

  • If you are someone who is younger than the age of 19 years, this can also lead you to experience anxiety when you are on birth control.
  • If you already have been diagnosed with depression or some other mental illness, getting on the pill may worsen your symptoms. And therefore, it is important to consult your mental health professional before starting any type of birth control.
  • Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms in reference to your mental illness, you may experience anxiety triggered by the pill, if you have any history of such issues. At the same time, some people have found mood stability when they are on the pill.
  • Strong familial history of anxiety when consuming birth control pills can also lead to anxiety in you. In case of familial history of any mental illness, this can also lead to anxiety when you are on the pill.
  • Birth control comes in many forms and the combinations are recommended by the goals and desires of the person. If you are consuming a form of birth control that only contains progestin, you might be at a higher risk of developing anxiety.
  • Some forms of birth control may be multi-phasic in nature which means that the dosage of the hormones increases gradually before reaching a certain plateau. This is also another risk factor for developing anxiety or other mental health issues.
  • Other than a pill, if you are taking some other form of birth control, this may also lead to more fluctuations in your hormones which can further lead to anxiety.

Other side effects of the pill

If you are taking an oral form of birth control and you are on the pill, other than anxiety, you may experience many other side-effects as well. These side-effects have been discussed in the section below.

Increase in weight

The most common side effect that people complain about after getting on the pill as part of their birth control is an increase in weight. Even if they have not made changes to their diet or their regular exercise, the person may gradually increase in weight.

Migraines and headaches

Another common side effect that is associated with intake of oral birth control is headache. They may also experience migraines which are an elevated form of headache, along with nausea and other symptoms.

However, some people will notice that the headaches often go away on their own as the body adjusts to the pill. In severe cases, the person may need to consult with their doctor or seek over the counter treatment.

A decrease in sex drive

A decrease in sex drive is another side effect that the pill may cause and this may cause even more problems for the person if they are otherwise used to a very sexually active lifestyle. Apart from a decrease in sex drive, they may also experience vaginal dryness.

Changes in periods

Often a birth control pill is recommended as a solution for an irregular menstrual cycle. But, it can also lead to irregular periods and missed periods. This may also resolve with time but it is advisable to consult with the doctor in case of too many missed periods.

Tenderness in breasts

The person may also experience tenderness in their breasts as a side effect of getting on the pill. The tenderness experienced may wax and wane throughout the entirety of the menstrual cycle. This side-effect also usually resolves on its own.

How to cope with anxiety if you are on the pill?

If you are on the pill and are experiencing anxiety or some other mental health issues, it may discourage you from taking this form of birth control or may also cause problems in your daily life. In this section, we have outlined a few ways through which you can cope with this anxiety.

Eat a healthy diet

If you are trying to cope with anxiety while you are on the pill, you can make sure that your mind and body are better prepared by eating a healthy diet. Everyone needs different diets and you can get the best by consulting with a nutritionist or a dietician.

Participate in regular exercise

Taking part in physical exercise can also do wonders for your anxiety if you are facing this while on birth control. Exercise releases dopamine and serotonin and these are important for the natural regulation of mood.

While exercising, it is important that you take part in an activity that is fun for you and actually motivates you rather than something that brings you more stress. You can even try taking part in a group exercise.

Try meditation and deep breathing

Relaxation activities like meditation can also help in coping with anxiety caused by birth control pills. Meditation can also serve as a great grounding tool and can help you convert your energy into a positive force.

Deep breathing can also help in fighting anxiety that you might experience as a result of getting on the pill. Deep breathing brings a better balance between the CO2 and the O2 levels in your blood which calms the fight or flight response that is responsible for anxiety episodes.

Practice sleep hygiene

Sleep hygiene can also help in fighting anxiety by bringing you the right quantity and quality of rest that you need. Sleep hygiene refers to a set of practices that are intended to help you sleep better at night so that you are better rested to face the day.

Techniques of sleep hygiene can include taking a warm bath before bedtime or reading a book under soft lighting. You can also invest in weighted blankets, aromatherapy or black-out curtains to help you sleep better at night.

Keep track of your mood

Another thing that you can do is to keep track of your mood and its ups and downs. You can use journaling to do this so that you are aware of any trigger factors and the way your mind and body responds to different stress factors.

Journaling can further help in healthy expression and venting of your thoughts and feelings. If you are seeing a therapist, you can show your journal to them so that they are also aware of your inner-thought processes and are able to help you better.


In this post, we have explained if the pill makes you have anxiety and the risk factors involved. We have also checked out some other side effects of the pill and listed out the various ways through which you can cope with anxiety caused by the pill.

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