Birth control pill shrinks part of brain that controls sex drive: research

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Top scientists found that women taking the contraceptive pill have a significantly smaller hypothalamus – a brain region responsible for regulating hormones.

Damage to the hypothalamus can wreak havoc with a women’s sex drive, mood,  appetite, heart rate and sleep cycles.

The shocking revelation comes following a study, presented at the annual meeting of Radiological Society of North America, that examined 50 women – 21 of whom were using the Pill.

All 50 women underwent a brain scan, and doctors measured the size of the hypothalamus of each participant.

And doctors were stunned to discover the difference in brain structures in women taking the Pill compared to those who weren’t.

Impact on brain function

Dr Michael Lipton, professor of radiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, said: “We found a dramatic difference in the size of the brain structures between women who were taking oral contraceptives and those who were not.

“This initial study shows a strong association and should motivate further investigation into the effects of oral contraceptives on brain structure and their potential impact on brain function.”

Dr Lipton also found a strong correlation between smaller hypothalamic volume and greater anger and depressive symptoms.

Despite this, he said that this finding was currently “preliminary”.

This is the first time structural effects of sex hormones, including oral contraceptive pills, on the human hypothalamus have been reported, according to the researchers.

It comes after it was revealed the Pill can dictate who you fall in love with and significantly lower your sex drive.

Top psychologist Dr Sarah Hill revealed that it affects “sex, attraction, stress, hunger, eating patterns, emotion regulation, friendships, aggression, mood, learning, and so many other things”.

She said women on the Pill are attracted to less masculine men and are less interested in sex.

That’s because the hormone progesterone, which sends a message to the body that ovulation is not required, is dominant throughout your cycle.

She said: “Rather than experiencing an increased preference for sexy men at high fertility like naturally cycling women do, Pill-taking women exhibit an unwavering preference for men with less masculine faces and voices.

“This is the sort preferred by naturally cycling women during the second half of their cycles, when progesterone is high.”

Other side effects…

Earlier this year, experts warned that one million women could be taking the wrong contraceptive pill – and could be suffering nasty side effects in silence.

Common side effects of the contraceptive pill include:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches and migraine
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes
  • Loss of libido
  • Missed periods
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Breast tenderness
  • Spotting between periods

Doctors estimate three million women are plagued by nasty side effects of their contraception.

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