Akush Ginekol (Sofiia). 2015;54(5):34-40.
[Article in Bulgarian]


Oral contraceptives are used since more than 50 years and are very popular due to offering more than 99% confidence in preventing pregnancy. Over 100 million women worldwide use oral contraceptives. In the UK 27% of women between 16 and 49 y. use pills. In the United States they are about 30%, in Germany - 40%, and in The Netherlands - 60%. According to a study by B. Pehlivanov, 2008, in Bulgaria only 4% of women use OC. (1) Despite the convenience and security, in the U.S.A. 29% of women taking OC interrupt prematurely their use (2), while the percentage of adolescents appears to be higher (3) Earlier studies of the reasons for refusal of OC focus on their influence on the menstrual cycle, as well as on some physical side effects such as the appearance of hair growth, weight gain, bloating etc. They paid very little attention to their impact on mood and sexual behavior of women (4). Newer studies suggest that the side effects associated with mood and sexual behavior proved more powerful factor leading to early termination of the use of OC (5). This paper is a review of the literature and evaluation of the facts presented in studies from different countries. They found a high incidence of symptoms such as anxiety, susceptibility to stress, mood changes, incl. depression, anxiety, increased irritability and affection of sexual desire of women. (6) There are many indications that OC-users are at increased risk of suicide and mental illnesses. (9).

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Affect / drug effects*
  • Anxiety / chemically induced
  • Contraceptives, Oral / adverse effects*
  • Depression / chemically induced
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menstrual Cycle / drug effects
  • Sexual Behavior / drug effects*


  • Contraceptives, Oral