Of all the things we have to worry about as women, now we have to worry about birth control pills shrinking our brains…

New research has found that women taking birth control pills have significantly smaller hypothalamus volume than women not taking the pill.

This is according to a new study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

What does the hypothalamus do?

Located at the base of the brain above the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus produces hormones and helps regulate essential bodily functions including body temperature, mood, appetite, sex drive, sleep cycles and heart rate.

Do birth control pills increase breast cancer risk?

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

The study

The study included 50 healthy women, including 21 women who were taking oral contraceptives.

All 50 women underwent brain MRI, and a validated approach was used to measure hypothalamic volume.

“We found a dramatic difference in the size of the brain structures between women who were taking oral contraceptives and those who were not,” says Michael L. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., FACR, professor of radiology at the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and medical director of MRI Services at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

Other findings that Dr Lipton described as “preliminary”, were that smaller hypothalamic volume was also associated with greater anger and showed a strong correlation with depressive symptoms. However, the study found no significant correlation between hypothalamic volume and cognitive performance.

Do birth control pills increase breast cancer risk?

Source: Radiological Society of North America via www.sciencedaily.com

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.