Efficacy of combined oral contraceptives for depressive symp
Combined oral contraceptives are often considered a treatment option for women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) also seeking contraception. According to this study, combined oral contraceptives do not improve premenstrual depressive symptoms.

Investigators aimed to determine 1) the level of evidence for the efficacy of combined oral contraceptives in managing premenstrual depressive symptoms and overall premenstrual symptomatology, and 2) the comparative efficacy of combined oral contraceptives.

They searched Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed, Web of Science, PsycINFO, Emcare, and EMBASE. All randomized clinical trials that evaluated the efficacy of combined oral contraceptives in women with PMS or PMDD were considered eligible. 9 eligible trials were included that studied 1205 women with PMS or PMDD.

Result was:
The pairwise meta-analysis revealed that combined oral contraceptives were more efficacious than placebo in treating overall premenstrual symptomatology, but not premenstrual depressive symptoms specifically. However, none of the combined oral contraceptives were more effective than each other in reducing premenstrual depressive symptoms and overall premenstrual symptomatology.

Conclusively, combined oral contraceptives may improve overall premenstrual symptomatology in women with PMS or PMDD, but not premenstrual depressive symptoms. There is no evidence for one combined oral contraceptive being more efficacious than any other.

American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Source: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2021.06.090
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