Sunday, November 4, 2018

Oral contraceptive use is associated with greater mood stability and higher relationship satisfaction

Oral contraceptive use is associated with greater mood stability and higher relationship satisfaction. Tenille C.Taggart et al. Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research, Volume 30, December 2018, Pages 154-162,

•    Mood lability was less severe in OC users compared to non-users (d = .30).
•    Non-users reported more frequent mood lability occurrences than OC users (d = .41).
•    OC users reported higher relationship satisfaction levels than non-users (d = .31).
•    Mood instability mediated the OC-relationship satisfaction association.
•    Mood instability accounted for 44% of the variance in relationship satisfaction.

Abstract: Oral contraceptives (OCs) are one of the most commonly prescribed medications among women. OCs have been used to ameliorate hormone-related affective symptoms (e.g., mood lability). Previous data suggest that mood stability may have downstream effects for broader life outcomes, such as relationship satisfaction, which is also correlated with OC use. However, to date, no studies have examined the role of mood lability within the OC-relationship satisfaction association. Indirect effects structural equation modeling examined the extent to which OC use was associated with relationship satisfaction (direct effect), and the degree to which this association was mediated by mood lability (indirect effect) in women (N = 282) aged 18–32. OC users reported significantly higher relationship satisfaction (Cohen’s d = .31) and less frequent occurrences of mood lability (d = .41) compared to non-users. Indirect effects suggested that mood lability accounted for nearly half of the variance in the OC-relationship satisfaction relationship. Findings support an emerging literature suggesting that, in addition to contraception, OC use may subsequently positively impact various domains of wellbeing for women and their families. Results support public policy efforts aimed at providing broad, affordable access to contraceptives, including for non-contraceptive benefits, and discussing OCs as a potential treatment with all women, including those not at imminent risk for pregnancy. Given their widespread use, availability, and low side effects profile, it is imperative that future research further elucidate non-contraceptive benefits associated with OC use.

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