Stressed and depressed women are less likely to use their birth control properly and continuously, according to a study of Michigan women.
Yet it's exactly these women who should be taking their birth control, experts believe.
Unwanted or unplanned pregnancies would seem to be the last thing depressed women need to face.
Researchers from the University of Michigan looked at the birth control habits of nearly 700 women, aged 18 and 19.
They documented their mental health status and recorded their weekly sexual activity and birth control use in a journal for a year.
Overall, the women used effective birth control (usually condoms or the Pill) every time -- nearly 80 percent of the time.
Roughly one-quarter of the women studied had moderate-to-severe stress and the same percentage had moderate-to-severe depression.
There was a marked difference in the use of birth control with women who were very stressed or depressed.
According to a report on the study from the Today Show, "For women with depression, the odds of using contraception consistently each week was 47 percent lower than for women with less severe symptoms. For those with stress, the odds of using contraception consistently were 69 percent lower."
For more on this, go to http://todayhealth.today.com/_news/2012/10/30/14808120-stressed-depresse...
Stress and depression could cause women to forget about taking birth control or cause irregular periods. Such women could more easily give in to pressure from their partner to have unprotected sex.
Other factors like the cost of birth control or lack of health insurance to provide it could also be an issue.
And it should also be noted that the women studied were still technically teenagers -- perhaps still not ready for sexual responsibility.
EmpowHER has received thousands of questions about missed pills, unsafe sex and queries from young women who have received no education when it comes to sexual health and how to protect themselves from pregnancy.