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Changes in mood are linked to microbes


  • Intestinal microbiota is specific to each individual.
  • In a healthy individual’s microbiome, there are approximately 160 types of bacteria according to Inserm.

36.5% of women take the pill in France, which remains the most used contraceptive method in France, according to Health Barometer 2016 Contraceptives for public health in France. this is Oral contraceptives It prevents ovulation, thins the inner lining of the uterus, and changes the consistency of cervical mucus to prevent the passage of sperm.

Birth control pills can affect teenage girls’ moods

This type of contraception is often prescribed to young girls in their teens. Among them, some reported negative effects on their mood, including feelings of anxiety, depression, or irritability. Others, on the other hand, do not see any change or, on the contrary, think that this character improves their mood.

So the researchers wanted to understand why and why these side effects differ from one teen to another. Their results have been published in the journal Frontiers in neuroendocrinology. The answer will come in part from the gut microbiota.

Researchers believe that about 20% of users will experience negative consequences, but there is a lack of knowledge to understand why. explains Nafisa Ismail, full professor in the School of Psychology and director of the NISE (Neuroimmunology, Stress and Endocrinology) Laboratory at the University of Ottawa. We know that not all women who take oral contraceptives will experience negative effects on mood and cognition and that there are striking individual differences. What we really need to know is whether it is safe to prescribe oral contraceptives or even other hormonal contraceptives to our young women.“.

Change in mood due to age and microbes

According to the researchers’ findings, the age at which young girls start taking oral contraceptives can have an impact on mood. The earlier they start, the more likely they are to have mood effects.

Another discovery: Germs could be linked to these oral contraceptive side effects on mood. This is the part of the intestine where a whole group of microorganisms lives: non-pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. It affects a large part of the body, such as the immune system, the brain, the cardiovascular system, or the bone system… According to the Pasteur Institute,An alteration of the gut microbiota could also be the cause of a depressed state“.

This work is so important because women’s health research has been neglected for decades and there are many issues specific to women’s health that urgently need to be addressed. The evolution of Nafisa Ismail. We hope that by making information available, women will be able to make informed decisions“. The team of scientists now intends to continue their research to better understand the effect of oral contraceptives on the brain development of adolescent girls, who at this time in life are undergoing major changes.

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