The influence of hormonal contraception on mood and sexual interest among adolescents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations


Mood and sexual interest changes are commonly cited reasons for discontinuing hormonal contraceptives. Data, however, are inconsistent and limited to adult users. We examined associations of hormonal contraceptive use with mood and sexual interest among adolescents. We recruited 14-17-year-old women from primary care clinics and followed them longitudinally for up to 41 months. Participants completed face-to-face interviews quarterly and two 12-week periods of daily diary collection per year. On daily diaries, participants recorded positive mood, negative mood, and sexual interest. We classified 12-week diary periods as "stable OCP use," "non-use," "initiated use," "stopped use," and "DMPA use" based on self-report of oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use and depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) use from medical charts. Diary periods were the unit of analysis. Participants could contribute more than one diary period. We analyzed data using linear models with a random intercept and slope across weeks in a diary period, an effect for contraceptive group, and an adjustment for age at the start of a diary period. Mean weekly positive mood was higher in diary periods characterized by stable OCP use, compared to other groups. Mean weekly negative mood was lower in diary periods characterized by stable OCP use and higher in periods characterized by DMPA use. Periods characterized by stable OCP use additionally showed less mood variation than other groups. Changes in mood among adolescent hormonal contraceptive users differed from those anticipated for adult users. Attention to adolescent-specific changes in mood and sexual interest may improve contraceptive adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-613
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


  • Adolescent
  • Daily diaries
  • Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate
  • Mood
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Sexual desire
  • Sexual interest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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