Although the pill has been criticized for some time, it is still a popular contraceptive. A study from the USA has now shown that hormonal contraception also affects the female brain. It is supposed to shrink the hypothalamus.
The pill, along with the condom, is the most common form of contraception. In a 2018 survey by the Erlangen University Hospital, 86 percent of women said they took the pill.
It is now known that the birth control pill also has side effects. For example, the risk of thrombosis is extremely increased in women who use hormonal contraception.
According to the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, the risk of developing thrombosis is up to 12 in 10,000, depending on the type of hormones taken.
But not only that. A new study by the research team led by Dr. Professor Michael Lipton of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which was published in the Radiological Society of North America, has now confirmed that the female brain is affected by years of taking the pill.
The Pill Reduces The Size Of The Brain Area
In their study using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the researchers from the USA found that the hypothalamus is smaller in women who use hormonal contraception than in test subjects who do not take a pill.
The hypothalamus is part of the diencephalon and controls, among other things, breathing, circulation, and body temperature. It is responsible for the formation of various hormones and thus influences vital processes in the body.
The Hypothalamus Also Influences Sexual Behavior, Appetite, And Mood.
In the course of the study, MRIs were taken of 50 women, 21 of whom were using hormonal contraception. It found that the hypothalamus in women who took the pills was around six percent smaller than in women who did not use it.
“We found a dramatic distinction between the size of the brain structures between women who take oral contraceptives and those who don’t
Effects On Mood
Further results, which were initially classified as “preliminary”, show that a reduction in the size of the hypothalamus has an effect on mood and may also be related to depressive symptoms.
A Relationship Between Volume And Cognitive Performance Was Not Found.
Lipton emphasizes that the study shows that oral hormonal contraceptives can have an impact on the brain. No further studies are to find out how exactly the birth control pill works on areas of the brain and what consequences this has.