The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology, examined 139 women aged 23 to 35 who were either currently using OC, had stopped taking them or had never used them, along with 41 men for comparison. The research found that those on OC had thinner regions in their frontal lobe compared to those who had never taken or had stopped.
According to Alexandra Brouillard, the lead author and researcher at the Université du Québec à Montréal, the thinning in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a brain region associated with emotion regulation, suggests that women taking OCs might experience lower inhibitions, take more risks and exhibit reduced fear responses.
The researchers used MRIs to analyze gray matter volume and cortical thickness in brain regions associated with information processing, emotion regulation, memory retention and decision-making. The research found that women generally have more gray matter in parts of the brain linked to learning and self-control than men.
However, women currently using OCs experience thinning in the brain region responsible for processing risk and fear. This reduction in thickness may lead to issues in self-control, social behavior and impulsiveness, potentially affecting the amygdala, which is responsible for regulating emotions. (Related: Birth control pills can raise the risk of depression by up to 80%.)
Despite this, Brouillard warned against making direct connections between these brain changes and riskier behaviors, stressing the need for further investigation into potential behavioral implications.
"The objective of our work is not to counter the use of COCs, but it is important to be aware that the pill can have an effect on the brain. Our aim is to increase scientific interest in women’s health and raise awareness about the early prescription of COCs and brain development, a highly unknown topic," explained Brouillard.
Watch the video below to learn more about the dangerous side effects of birth control.
This video is from the Tammy Cuthbert Garcia channel on Brighteon.com.