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TBH (To Be Honest) is a monthly newsletter dedicated to learning about our bodies, talking about sex and relationships, and challenging health inequity and injustice.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month + Chat Tools To Help Find Abortion Care + Birth Control & Depression
How the Criminal-Justice System is Targeting Pregnant People
"What's being created is a situation where any adverse pregnancy outcome is a potential criminal scene to be investigated."
Even before the Dobbs decision last year, criminal arrests of pregnant people were on the rise (especially among women with low incomes). Now, in post-Dobbs America, experts warn of how fetal-personhood laws can be weaponized against pregnant people, whether they are seeking an abortion or not. Read more from The Cut here.
From the blog…
  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S. More than 240,000 people get breast cancer every year, and more than 40,000 people die from it. The good news is: The sooner breast cancer is found, the easier it is to treat.
  • Talking With Your Kid About Self Esteem and Body Image: Sex education doesn't stop at safer sex and birth control — body image and self-esteem are crucial to helping your kid grow up confident in who they are, inside and out. Here's what you can do to support positive self-esteem and body image for the young people in your life.
  • Need an Abortion? Here Are Five Chat Tools That Can Help: Currently, twenty-one U.S. states have banned some or all abortions since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year. The landscape of safe and legal abortion is constantly changing — but we've got some tools that can help you and others find an abortion.

What we're watching, reading, listening to, and taking action on:

Ask the Experts:
"Can birth control cause depression?"

While some researchers have found a connection between hormonal birth control and depression, most people don't develop depression while using hormonal birth control.

Hormonal birth control methods like the pill, patch, and ring release combinations of the hormones progestin and estrogen. These hormones change your body's natural hormone levels to prevent pregnancy. These hormonal changes can impact your mood and cause you to feel a range of emotions, including occasional sadness. However, depression is a condition that comes with constant feelings of sadness. Depression can stop you from being able to do everyday activities like eating, sleeping, taking a shower, hanging out with friends, or going to school/work, and affects your life in a negative way.

You may be more likely to experience depression while using hormonal birth control if you already have depression, have a family history of depression, or you've had depression in the past. If you start to feel the signs and symptoms of depression or you think you may have higher chances of depression while taking birth control, talk to your nurse or doctor about your birth control options. It may be helpful to track your mood and symptoms using a birth control and period tracker.

It's important to know that many people don't have any symptoms at all while using hormonal birth control. And some people use hormonal birth control to help relieve depression symptoms and mood swings that are experienced with conditions like premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). For many people, birth control can help their mental health.

If you have any questions or concerns about how birth control can affect your mood, the best thing to do is speak with a nurse or doctor, like the ones at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center. They can help you explore your options and how they might relate to your mental health.

If you're having symptoms that are getting in the way of your daily life to the point where you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or others, call 988 to speak to someone 24-hours a day, 7 days a week through the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

*Note: Planned Parenthood is not responsible for nor does it endorse any legal, medical, or other advice or information provided by any of the entities identified or referenced herein or by any other third parties, whether referenced herein or not.

Check out Ask The Experts for more Q&As on a ton of different health topics. Got a question in mind? Ask Roo, our expert chatbot, or one of our trained health educators.