Effects of the Oral Contraceptive Pill: Psychological and Physiological Variables


  • Amy Walsh University of Limerick
  • Sandra O'Brien University of Limerick
  • Stephen Gallagher University of Limerick


Oral Contraceptives, BDI, BAI, PSS-14, Blood Pressure


Oral contraceptives are one of the most widely used contraceptives in the world. Multiple variations of the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) now exist with limited research examining the psychological impact they may have. The current study examined the psychological and physiological impact of three OCPs. Psychological and physiological variables in participants (N=84) were measured. Results found no significant effect on the psychological variables. An effect was observed in physiological variables; an increase in systolic blood pressure (SBP) on the fourth week of pill cycle (SBP) in those using Dianette and Ovranette. Similarly the purpose for which participants were using the OCP had an effect on SBP. This increase was also observed in diastolic blood pressure for the group who answered ‘other’. These findings in relation to week of pill cycle and SBP are particularly interesting and pave the way for further research. Keywords:

Author Biographies

Amy Walsh, University of Limerick

Department of Psychology

Sandra O'Brien, University of Limerick

Lecturer, Department of Psychology

Stephen Gallagher, University of Limerick

Assistant Dean Research, Department of Psychology






Empirical Research