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Hormonal contraception May Shrink Portions of the Brain

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According to a new study ,Birth Control May Alter The Structure Of A Woman’s Brain. The study was  published in the journal Human Brain Mapping. The study took place on  90 women, in which  neuroscientists at UCLA found that two key brain regions, the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and the posterior cigulate cortex, were thinner in women who used oral contraception than in women who did not.

The lateral orbitofrontal cortex plays an important role in emotion regulation and responding to rewards, while the posterior cigulate cortex is involved with inward-directed thought, and shows increased activity when we recall personal memories and plan for the future. This is interesting because of how many women are affected emotionally by taking Hormonal Contraception.

According to a Huffington Post Article “Some women experience negative emotional side effects from taking oral contraceptive pills, although the scientific findings investigating that have been mixed,” Nicole Petersen, a neuroscientist at UCLA and the study’s lead author, told The Huffington Post. “So it’s possible that this change in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex may be related to the emotional changes that some women experience when using birth control pills.”

Scientists have not yet determined if these neurological changes are permanent, or if they only last while a woman is on the Pill. Either way this is not good news because of how delicate the brain is.

Oral Contraceptives have been in the news recently for many negative side effects such as Increasing the Risk of Breast Cancer and even occurrences of rare brain tumors.   Whether it’s the news or women trying to take a healthier alternative to their Birth Control needs many women are starting to opt for more natural family planning options.

It’s important to research the effects that these contraceptives have not only on our bodies before committing to use.

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7 Comments

  • Reply Michele Ash

    WOW! Thanks so much for the Fantastic Information on Hormonal contraception May Shrink Portions of the Brain! This is the first I’m hearing about this! This is really upsetting! I’m not on any birth control anymore, however, I was taking them when I was younger! And, they don’t know yet if this is permanent or not! Sheesh! It seems like no matter what we take, eat, drink, smell, see or whatever is eventually bad for our health! I haven’t been on these for years now! I wonder if my brain has fixed itself since I’ve been off of them for a long time. who knows! I guess young women are going to have to find alternatives to taking the oral contraception! My answer to them would be ABSTAIN!!!!!! I was never one for getting things put into me for contraception! This could also be bad for you as well. My daughter had something put in and you should have seen the list of side effects and what this device could do if it moved and got stuck somewhere! To Abstain is the best way anymore! Plus with all the diseases out there, you just never know! Thanks for sharing your fantastic information and your personal and professional information on Hormonal contraception May Shrink Portions of the Brain with all of us! What a scary thought! You know that I truly do appreciate it! Thanks again! Michele 🙂

    May 18, 2015 at 9:09 pm
  • Reply Amy P

    That’s frightening. I need all the brain I can get.

    April 16, 2015 at 4:49 pm
  • Reply Dale Hunsberger

    Wow! Glad I’m not taking these any more !

    April 16, 2015 at 12:22 pm
  • Reply Anne Sweden

    Suppressing a woman’s natural fertility hormones long-term just seems counter-intuitive. Every once in a while a study comes out with yet another documented (and unexpected) side effect from hormonal contraceptives. I know firsthand from speaking with many women that side effects are not adequately addressed when the pill is prescribed. Nor are most women informed of the fact that the pill not only prevents ovulation, but can actually prevent implantation of a newly conceived baby (when “breakthrough ovulation” occurs). Education is crucial!

    April 14, 2015 at 10:50 am
    • Reply ConservaMom

      I couldn’t agree more. It worries me how freely and easily these contraceptives are prescribed and people don’t realize how dangerous they are. I’m glad these studies are coming to light and informing people of these dangers.

      April 14, 2015 at 10:57 am
      • Reply Anne Sweden

        And a lot of women say “I’ve been taking it for years with no problems,” but that doesn’t discount the fact that there are many well-documented side effects, some of them even serious enough to cause death. I just wish women were better informed, especially since the pill is so routinely prescribed.

        April 14, 2015 at 11:09 am
    • Reply Judith Martinez

      Plus, no one has done any research on the long term effects that they have on teen girls. In spite of that hormonal contraceptives are being prescribed routinely to young girls when they’re periods are heavy, irregular, painful or anything else. My sister’s best friend started taking the pill at 15 because of COPD and when she quit after she got married she couldn’t get pregnant. No one treated her underlying issue. They just put a bandaid on it and sent her out the door.

      April 21, 2015 at 12:40 pm

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