My concentration in this article critique is to comprehend and determine if hormonal contraception can really be connected to a higher risk of suicide. In the article written by Alice Park with the New York Times, it is specified that even though the information connecting “The absolute risk of suicide associated with hormonal contraceptives is still extremely low … the data suggests it’s worth studying and understanding further.”( • Park, A. (2017, November 21)) Studies have uncovered that hormonal conception use has resulted in higher odds of women developing depression which can bring about the likelihood of its users committing suicide, the reasoning behind this discovery remains unknown, however it may have to do with the way hormonal contraceptives impact the mind.Women, by today’s standards, are expected to be on or take some form of birth control when they are sexually active. While there are non-hormonal alternatives, the ones that are the most effective are hormonal contraceptives. According to the Planned Parenthood website and Stöppler at MedicineNet, hormonal contraceptives are those that affect the endocrine system. These methods of contraception are composed of either both estrogen and progestin or just progestin. They administer a dosage of hormones to the body that prevents the delivery of eggs from the ovaries, keep sperm from entering the uterus by thickening the mucus in the cervix, and prohibit the implantation of sperm in the uterus by thinning its lining. Hormonal conception options are the pill, the patch, the vaginal ring, and hormonal IUDs.The symptoms of hormonal contraceptive medication, as indicated by Stöppler, can be valuable to women in many ways. In addition to its usefulness in preventing unwanted pregnancies, it can also reduce blemishes, ease symptoms of PMS, lighten overwhelming or difficult periods, reduce menstrual headaches, and diminish the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Additionally, hormonal contraceptives are known to lower the likelihood of developing endometrial cancer, polycystic ovarian cysts, PID, and ectopic pregnancies. Despite the many upsides to birth control use, there are always people who unfortunately encounter the unpleasant side effects. Vomiting, migraines, weight gain, diminished sexual drive, changes in mood, and depression are also among the list of symptoms for birth control.In the article, the writer developed an extensive understanding of the association between hormonal contraceptives and depression. She presented data from the first study which compared the manifestation of depression and the possible risk for suicide in women who either recently begun or have been on some form of hormonal contraception and women who were either no longer on hormonal contraceptives or had never been on any type of hormonal contraception. She also included the outcome of the study when it was changed to only compare the results of depression and suicide in women on contraceptives and women who had never used hormonal birth control before. When the first study was altered to no longer include women who had previously been on birth control, researchers saw a distinction. In the first study, the rate of depression and suicide in women on birth control was not significantly higher to the second group which initially included women who stopped contraceptive use. This discovery can mean that there is a possibility that the development of depression and risk of suicide caused by birth control may still affect women even after stopping use.One focus in the article was on suicide risk among younger women. The risk of developing depression was the highest in the first two months of starting a hormonal contraceptive regimen but leveled out following a year of continued use. The Planned Parenthood website says that all side effects in the first month of starting birth control will be more prominent but will fade as the user continues. This implies that initial signs of depression are common but should disappear. When investigated further, the study found that prolonged use of contraceptives raised the likelihood of an individual committing suicide by “30%”( Park, A. (2017, November 21)) even following several years. With a heightened risk of women developing depression, the article also mentions the likelihood of an individual conferring suicide raising as the use of hormonal contraception is drawn out.When factors such as “mental illness and the initiation of sexual relationships” (Park, A. (2017, November 21)) were taken into consideration and removed, the outcome remained the same. Even though the results were static, the author points out the fact that the researchers excluded the possibility that younger women are more vulnerable, insecure, going through more breakups, and other emotional events. The article did not specify if the study included a comparison between the amount of suicides in women on birth control and the overall amount of suicides (men and women) in the Denmark region. Implying that although a significant number of women on birth control may have committed suicide, environmental factors may also play a role and be responsible. The article ultimately concludes that it is “not clear how contraceptives may be affecting suicide risk” (Park, A. (2017, November 21)) but, it mentions that “it’s possible that some of the risk is occurring through the way that hormones can affect mood and depression.” (Park, A. (2017, November 21)) Meaning that there is a possibility that the hormones used in this form of contraception can affect the brain. It is not expanded upon but merely said. A statement that is undetermined and not fully studied meaning that it is important for there to be more research on the subject. When signing up for a new birth control regimen, individuals may unknowingly be putting their mental health at risk. The possibility of developing depression from birth control is higher than anticipated and it is undetermined how long after stopping a regimen until the side effects subside. The article does not mention whether side effects of the birth control will completely dissipate after stopping use which is concerning.The lead author in the paper from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, Charlotte Wessel Skovlund stands by her belief that “hormonal contraception can also have a direct effect on the brain” (Park, A. (2017, November 21)). To which extent remains undetermined and leaves individuals uninformed on the subject. There are no known articles mentioned by the author that expand on the idea that birth control directly affects the brain meaning this area of study is either currently being researched or unknown to others. Every individual is different and on a genetic level, everyone varies drastically. From the very beginning of a sperm-egg-fusion, there is a distinct combination of 46 chromosomes that result in the formation of a child. Humans are all different and complex which makes each and every individual unique. Some people are allergic to penicillin and others aren’t allergic to anything at all which makes it understandable that all medications can affect every individual in a different way. Some women who are on birth control do not experience any kind of change while others can experience great benefits and others, unpleasant side effects. According to Planned Parenthood, there are many different types of hormonal birth control methods and the difference between them all are the types of hormones used, how much of the hormone is delivered, and the way the hormone enters the body. This means that since there are different options for women to choose from. The relationship between a patient and a doctor is crucial, any medications a patient takes can react and lead to complications. In the conclusion of the article, it is mentioned that although the data found is not discouraging enough to completely stop medical providers from prescribing hormonal contraceptives, it would be best if they carefully considered the possibilities with each individual and worked with them to find what works best. It is necessary for women to have an open relationship with their medical providers in order to adequately prescribe contraceptive medications which will result in the least amount of side effects. Women should be more cautious. While one form of contraception works amazing for a friend or family member, the same medication can result in another individual developing depression or intense mood swings. It is important for women to know about the mental side effects in order for them to understand when it is necessary to halt use when there is a noticeable difference in their mood.The study conducted by Charlotte Wessel Skovlund found that the form of birth control connected to the highest risk of suicide attempts was the patch. The IUD and vaginal ring held the second highest risks while pills resulted in the lowest risk of contraception. If it is true that the hormones delivered alter the brain in a negative way, it would be best to understand how each form of hormonal contraception works. According to MedicineNet, the pill is taken orally and comes in two forms, a combination pill which includes both estrogen and progestin hormones and a mini pill which only contains the progestin hormones. The patch is similar to the combination pill since they both contain estrogen and progestin hormones but the patch differs because the hormones aren’t delivered orally but through a transdermal process. The IUD can be implanted in the arm and provides a continuous delivery of progestin hormones over the course of three years. The main difference found between these forms of contraception is how the hormones are delivered. My personal conclusion for why the patch and the IUD lead to higher risks of suicide attempts among women may be because the release of hormones is ineffective. While a pill is a specific dosage every day at a specific time, the patch and the IUD deliver a continuous administration of hormones throughout a day. Since there are no sources that have information on why the patch and IUD have higher risks of suicide I had to come up with an explanation. Although hormonal contraceptives can be helpful to women in many ways, there are still concerns among women as to why there are so many negative side effects. Unfortunately, it is common for women to feel depressed while on some form of hormonal contraceptive. The article written by Alice Park brings this issue to light. Although this field of research remains underdeveloped, hopefully, this article enlightens others and enables them to acknowledge that birth control is linked to higher rates of depression. The need for an understanding is crucial because women everywhere may unknowingly be hurting themselves by developing higher risks of depression and suicide.