Is Your Birth Control Affecting Your Overall Mental Health?

In today’s world, the usage of birth control methods is at an all time high. However, according to the research conducted by neuro-scientists at UCLA, the usage of oral contraception cam lead to the shrinking of some parts of the brain resulting in depression. You might not be aware that your birth control can affect your entire mental health. Maybe you experience some mood swings, anxiety, and depression symptoms but you do not know what causes these problems. Find out from the following discussion.

Usage of oral contraception (commonly known as the pill) leads to undesirable depression symptoms for a woman since it has some emotional and metabolic effects. The hormone, estrogen, in the brain is influenced, and this leads to slow or underprivileged brain growth and manipulates the nervous system. There is also the behavior change because of hormonal change. Processing of the emotional information becomes a problem to women on birth control pills.

Some women can find that their long-term memory is negatively affected while on the pill. They can experience emotional side effects, such as depression and anxiety because one’s brain functionality can be affected. The processing of emotions and the decision-making capacity is negatively influenced and because the pill can block the production of natural hormones it can trigger changes in the brain shape and its functionality.

It is apparent from the study that the brain structures especially the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and the posterior cigulate cortex become thinner in women who use oral contraception as their form of birth control. As the lateral orbitofrontal cortex becomes narrower, it becomes impossible for the woman to function normally because its roles, which include emotional regulation and responses to rewards and regulation are influenced. On the other hand, the effect on the posterior cigulate cortex leads to conduct of poor inward-directed thought and increased activity when recalling memories and preparing for the future.

An increased anxiety is one of the side effects of taking birth control pills. The continued usage of these pills alters the brain morphology, and this leads to poor thoughts. The women who use the pill have advanced gray matter levels in the post- and precentral gyri, prefrontal cortex, fusiform gyri, parahippocampal, and the temporal regions. There can also be a reduced attraction to one’s partner because these pills break down one’s feelings.

In conclusion, it is evident that the usage of birth control pills affects the overall mental health of the women. Because it is changing the physiology of your brain, it is a thought that the changes could be permanent. While studies are still quite young it is definitely something to be aware of. The pill can be essential to some women, and can in fact improve their quality of life, alleviating PMS symptoms, headaches and lightening heavy bleeding.

If you are thinking of going on the pill or having your daughter go on the pill, there are no signs that this is permanently dangerous – but you should be going to a doctor to ensure that you are not put on a pill that does not suit you. There are several different pills on the market with differing levels of hormones and a doctor can asses you on your physical and mental health before choosing which one suits you. While it is not certain that the pill is affecting your mental health, the studies are something to keep an eye on.

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Photo by: Thinkstock/ dolgachov

Posted on May 22, 2023