A doctor can put an IUD into you to stop you from getting pregnant. It is a long-acting and completely irreversible form of birth control.

IUDs are very effective at preventing pregnancies. Birth control can cause some side effects.

There are two main types of IUD: copper and hormonal. Some studies suggest that using a hormonal IUD might increase your risk of depression. However, research findings on this topic have been mixed. Most people who use a hormonal IUD don’t develop depression as a side effect.

Your doctor can help you understand the risks and benefits of using a hormonal or copper IUD, as well as any effects it might have on your mood.

A copper IUD (known by the brand name Paragard) is wrapped in copper, a metal that kills sperm. In most cases, a copper IUD can last up to 12 years before it needs to be removed and replaced.

“copper IUDs don’t contain hormones. They have not been linked to a higher risk of depression.”

A hormonal IUD (known by the brand names Kyleena, Liletta, Mirena, and Skyla) releases small amounts of progestin, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. This causes the lining of your cervix to thicken, making it harder for sperm to enter your uterus.

Depending on the brand, this type of IUD can last for 3 to 7 years before needing to be replaced.

IUDs are more than 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, according to Planned Parenthood. They’re one of the most effective methods of birth control.

They need little upkeep. IUDs provide protection from pregnancy for a long time.

For people who have heavy or painful periods, hormonal IUDs offer additional benefits. They can reduce period cramps and make your periods lighter.

If you decide you want to get pregnant, a healthcare professional can remove your IUD at any time. The effects of copper IUDs are instantly reversed, and the effects of hormonal IUDs are not lasting long.

The copper IUD is an effective option for people who want to avoid birth control. The copper IUD tends to cause heavier periods.

“IUDs don’t stop the spread of STDs. Condoms and an IUD are used to protect yourself and your partner from STDs.”

Birth control pills and other hormonal methods of birth control may raise the risk of depression according to some studies. Other studies have not found a link.

One of the largest studies on birth control and depression was completed in Denmark in 2016. The researchers studied 14 years’ worth of data from more than 1 million women, aged 15 to 34 years old. They excluded women with a history of depression or antidepressant use.

“The researchers estimated that 2.2 percent of women who start using hormonal birth control are prescribed antidepressants within a year, compared with 1.7 percent of women who don’t use hormonal birth control.”

“Women who use a hormonal IUD are more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than women who don’t use any form of hormonal birth control. The risk was higher for women who were 15 and 19 years old.”

Other studies, however, have found no link between hormonal birth control and depression. In a review published in 2018, researchers looked at 26 studies evaluating progestin-only contraceptives, including five that looked at hormonal IUDs. Only one study linked hormonal IUDs to a higher risk of depression. The other four studies found no link between hormonal IUDs and depression.

The lack of research on birth control and depression was highlighted by the high risk of bias in many of the reviewed studies.

If you suspect your birth control is causing depression, speak to your doctor. They might encourage you to change your birth control method.

They might prescribe antidepressants, refer you to a mental health specialist for counseling, or recommend other treatments.

Potential signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • There are frequent or lasting feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness.
  • It can be a long time of worry, anxiety, or feelings.
  • There are frequent feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or self-blame.
  • There was a loss of interest in activities that used to intrigue.
  • changes to your appetite or weight
  • Changes to your sleep habits.
  • There is no energy.
  • Slow movements, speech, or thought
  • Difficult concentrating, making decisions or remembering things.

Let your doctor know if you have signs of depression.

If suicidal thoughts are surfacing

  • Call a crisis hotline, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
  • Text HOME to the Crisis Textline at 741741.
  • “If you feel like you are at risk, contact a trusted friend, family member, or healthcare professional. If you can’t get in touch with them, you should call the emergency number.”

If you are concerned about the risk of depression or other side effects from birth control, speak to your doctor.

They can help you understand the risks and benefits of birth control. They can help you choose a method that fits your lifestyle and medical history.