How the pill affects the brain
No doubt you’ve wondered about what effect the pill has on people’s moods and physical health, but have you ever thought about how it may be directly influencing the brain?
Though studies on the subject are few and far between, some initial findings have been published by researchers of Gruss Magnetic Resonance in New York. This research centre presented their findings at the annual Radiological Society of North America congress, revealing that women on the pill seemingly have smaller hypothalamuses.
The results of their study1 show that the hypothalamus of subjects on oral birth control is, on average, 6% smaller than that of other subjects. It may not sound like much, but this is quite a considerable difference when you think that we are talking about a region of the brain. They also observed a correlation between smaller hypothalamus sizes and more angry moods, as well as more symptoms of depression.
Still, there is some good news. The study revealed no link between hypothalamus size and cognitive capacities. Moreover, these are just the preliminary results, and further, more extensive studies are required to better understand these issues.
1 RSNA Press Release: Study Finds Key Brain Region Smaller in Birth Control Pill Users. (http://press.rsna.org/timssnet/media/pressreleases/14_pr_target.cfm?ID=2136)