Roles: Director, Producer, Editor
Concerning Contraception is a short documentary that reveals what we know, and more importantly what we don’t, about the mood side effects of hormonal contraception for many young women. 
Concerning Contraception is a compilation of intimate personal stories, medical expert insights, and current scientific research about the under-acknowledged mood side effects of hormonal birth control for many young women. As seen through the three stories of Bianca, Jayne, and Emma, women can experience various reactions to their prescribed contraception ranging from phases of severe depression, anxiety attacks, or even mood enhancements.
Medical experts, as a collective voice, explain that a large void of research exists for teens, even as the pill is prescribed at a dramatically growing rate for younger and younger women. During this particularly vulnerable period of adolescents, up to 50% of teens are taking the pill for “period problems” instead of contraception. Experts state that what is even less known, is why some women experience mood side effects, while others do not.
Jayne started taking the pill at sixteen. She recalls feeling depressed in her teens, a predisposition in her family, but found that her use of contraception actually improved her mood. For Jayne, there is no downside. She feels empowered that the pill enables her to plan for a family in the future. However, what is not known, is if Jayne’s experience is the norm or the exception.
Both Bianca and Emma found they were unable to recognize themselves or their moods while taking contraception. The implant left the bubbly and outgoing Bianca engrossed with dark and negative thoughts. While Emma suffered from crippling anxiety and panic attacks on the pill. At first, neither had any idea that their contraception could cause mood side effects. But once they stopped, they both found their symptoms lifted.
Experts add that presently the majority of research only tests for “clinical depression”, though what many women are experiencing includes feeling anxious, irritable, and angry. Women have been outspoken about these mood side effects since the pill came on the market over 60 years ago. Today, research on the range of mood side effects that women experience is almost nonexistent. And why some women are affected while others are not is still unknown.
Concerning Contraception calls for more research to be done, and in the meantime, empowers women with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions for their reproductive and mental health.
Featuring (in order of appearance):
Emma McNichols
Bianca Uyen
Jayne Leitao
Dr. Jolene Brighten, ND
Dr. Jerilynn Prior, MD
Dr. Frances Chen
Dr. Ellen Wiebe, MD
Director, Producer, and Editor:
Sandy Jeglum
Executive Producer:
Christopher Scrosati
Music Composer:
Christina Themistocli
Petra Lewis
Andrea DeLeon
Sandy Jeglum
Evan Spitzer
Sofia Rosenzweig
Negin Khazaee
Graphic Design:
Eric Durr
Motion Design:
Lauren Dutch
Sound Mix:
Jack Rose
Gary McIntyre
Medical Advisor:
Dr. Elesha Vooght
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