You aren't yourself anymore. It's a familiar complaint heard by women who have recently gone on birth control pills. Now studies are providing evidence for what many of those women, and the men who love them, have long known intuitively: the pill can alter the female brain, making a woman act like a different person.
The pill turned 50 this year, and it has gone through many iterations since the Food and Drug Administration gave the pharmaceutical company G.D. Searle a green light to market the first oral contraceptive on June 23, 1960. Drug companies continually roll out contraceptives containing lower doses of hormones and entailing fewer side effects. But women who have gone on hormones can point to the effects that have stubbornly endured: moodiness, depression, decreased libido. (This last one makes some birth control pills perversely effective. Not only do they protect you from pregnancy if you do have sex, they also zap your desire to have sex in the first place -- and turn you into an unstable mess, which may in turn zap your partner's interest in sex.) But believe it or not, we still know very little about the consequences of taking daily hormones on a woman's brain.
That is changing, say Craig H. Kinsley and Elizabeth A. Meyer in Scientific American. They point to a recent study in the journal Brain Research comparing the brains of women on birth control pills with brains of other women and men. When the study's authors examined high-resolution images of participants' brains, they found the women on hormones showed more matter in some areas of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with cognitive activities like decision-making.
The Brain Research study prompted breathless news reports suggesting that the pill makes you smarter. But Kinsley and Meyer point out that the brain works like a "neural beehive," and disturbing one part of the hive could impact the other. The fact that one brain region becomes larger than the next does not mean a woman on hormones is more intelligent or effective. It is also possible that her brain is going haywire. (Kinsley and Meyer actually use the word "catawampus.")
That may be why in some situations estrogen has been shown to impair performance in rats. Other studies have suggested that the pill may change a woman's preferences to the point of affecting her taste in men.
They compare the pill to steroids, which are known to cause increased aggression in men. Could the stints of hyper-masculine behavior known as "'roid rage" have their equivalent in women? Hopefully future studies will shed light on what many couples know to be intuitively true.
Mara Hvistendahl is writing Unnatural Selection, a book on reproductive technology, sex selection, and gender imbalance.
I don't know why but my brain read the first sentences as "You aren't yourself anymore. It's a familiar complaint heard by women who have recently gone on bitch control pills"
Why not just point out the fact that women have been completely incapable of self-moderation and self-control since the beginning of the human species?
Nearly every sane person on the planet (including most women) will tell you this. As a matter of fact, most women frequently use this as an excuse for their irrational behavior.
It's certainly more accurate than the fluff of "derp. Study still ongoing" in this article.
I find your comment not only offensive, but also baseless. What exactly IS your basis for stating that the female gender, in its entirety, is incapable of self-moderation and self-control, if you don't mind me asking?
That's the equivalent to a woman stating that every male is completely incapable of compassion and nurturing.
I know many women who have an unbelievable amount of self-control and self-moderation, and I also know many women who are complete mental cases. I know many men (perhaps not unlike yourself?) who are completely lacking in compassion and nurturing tendencies. I also know many men who are amazing fathers and compassionate, caring human beings.
Honestly, why stereotype? Why the sexism? Just because you have not been able to meet intelligent, stable women does not mean that they do not exist. They just prefer intelligent, stable men over chauvenist, sexist ignoramuses.
I 100% agree. Girlfriend use to be all about it, 2 months into taking the pill -- the desire/drive dropped dramatically. 6-8 months in, im left scratching my head (read that how you will :P )
On a side note to OddNotion, it all goes back to Eve. Yeah, thanks for that one and that whole being expunged from paradise bit. You just HAD to eat the fruit…
My theory on the fruit: it tasted like chocolate ;)
It explains everything!
Who's bright idea was it to give those rib-thieves the right to vote anyways?
I'm sorry, Oddnotion, would you please repeat that using a metaphor to preparing meals or cleaning the house?
I lack the ability to understand your complete lack of humor due to the fact that I lack compassion and the ability to nurture your supersillious manner.
Obviously, I stereotype not because I find stereotypes immensely hilarious, and was pointing out the fact that women continually play on the gender stereotype in courts, in relationships, and in any way that exonerates them from the idea of self control, but because I am a sexist, unstable, chauvenist ignoramous.
If you would excuse me, I have to go cry now because you have made me realize that I am going to die alone in complete misery because my hatred of women will eventually lead me down a road of spousal abuse, alcoholism, and poverty.
In other news, irony: Poorly expressed through text? Or poorly understood by feminazis? You decide.
Actually, the biggest shared complaint from women on the pill is that it causes weight gain issues. I wouldn't be surprised if the areas of the brain affected also included parts that control metabolism and appetite.
Maybe some women may change a little when they start the pill but the birth control pills have such low-doses of hormones now that I doubt it will make such a huge difference in drive or moodiness (as comparing them to before they started - since some women are a lot more moody than others anyways). On the other side though, women have to be more sensitive to hormone changes in their bodies because of the way their bodies are after puberty, and for the mechanisms that make pregnancy and childbirth possible.
I agree that some women use the PMS or birth control pill excuse for their mood swings but I've been on the pill for 6 years and have never noticed any mood swings or changes in drive. Some people even take the pill to stabilize their cycles, if they have unstable/unpredictable ones.
The article said they noticed changes in the area where decision making occurs - if they find evidence of change where emotions are felt highly, some womens mood swings would make more sense to me. Otherwise, we'll just have to wait and see what else they find.
A man would say something like this: What's affected? Women have brains? Of course it was a joke. But when you think it affects them, wait and wonder if it's worth using these contraceptives. No, not worth it.<a rel="dofollow" href="http://www.auto-tip.ro/piese-auto" title="piese auto"><img src="http://www.all-auto.ro/img/a%20auto" alt="piese auto" vspace="2" border="0" hspace="2"></a><a rel="dofollow" href="http://www.auto-tip.ro/dezmembrari-auto" title="dezmembrari auto"><img src="http://www.all-auto.ro/img/a%20auto" alt="dezmembrari auto" vspace="2" border="0" hspace="2"></a>
Thanks for this article
I experienced no drop off in libido. Perhaps your girl was responding to you, TNT as opposed to her meds? You could always fix the entire situation with a vasectomy.
I've been on them a little over half my life now and I am thankful to have them. It's way more easy to be interested in sex when you don't have to fumble with sponges and condoms or worry about getting pregnant.
Wow, what a disappointing example of science journalism.
This study measured structural changes in brain volume and made no efforts to measure nor claims about any changes in behavior.
Also, the pill IS made out of steroid hormones -- ethinyl estradiol and a synthetic progestin, usually. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steroid
The word structural may be exaggerated. The article did not address whether the change is permanent. It also did not address whether the changes in personality persist after the pills are discontinued.
As is evident, your irony was lost on me. Don't pretend to cry. *pat-pat* I'm sure someone found your comment more amusing than I did.
Not everybody gains weight on birth control pills. I have heard people say different things about different pills so you would have to try one and see how it goes, that's about all you can do.
I wouldn't say I felt "smarter" on bc at first and I for sure went through a hormonal swing of zero libido and no periods. It has leveled off (4-5 months after starting) though. I looked at this article because I am interested in whether bc can cause a change in personality. I'm not as easily stressed or bothered by things and I actually feel better mentally. If your hormones are not bouncing all over the place of course you can concentrate better. There is research suggesting poor nerve conduction (especially in the brain) during the time right before (pms) and during menstruation. This means you are PHYSICALLY unable to respond to your environment, handle stressors, or think as usual. This is why joking about something women cant help or change XIII is cruel no matter how your spin it. I'm assuming your male so imagine getting the flu every month. I'm willing to bet you could not function as yourself could you? In fact, you would likely be in the fetal position begging for your mommy to take care of you. If she read your post I assume she wouldn't come to your aide. Women have a stronger pain threshold for a reason, its called childbirth. If you dont respect that reason then be prepared to be not very well liked by most self respecting women.
I believe this article has some merit although grossly incomplete. No period means no drop in nerve conduction and therefore "no stupid"!
I have taken the same exact birth control pill shown above for 2 years. It turned me in a monster! I was a totally different person to my significant other. I lost all sexual desire. I didn't even want to be touched at all! I became extremely moody and irritable! Even with my 3 kids. That pill made it to where I didn't care about my lover and my family. When even confronted about it by my lover I was even in denial. I even lashed out at him. I did throw things also. It even caused me and my lover to split up, which is very sad because we were very much in love and before these pills we had no problems with wanting to make love at all!!! When I went to my check up I talked to my doctor about this and he decided to switch the pills first. I have been off those pills above for 5 months now and I am myself again. Now looking and reading this article I TOTALLY AGREE that the wrong kind of birth control CAN VERY MUCH alter a woman's way of thinking, personality and brain because I am living proof of it.
I completely agree!!
WHERE IS THE MALE BIRTH CONTROL PILL?? WHY IS THIS ALL BEING PUT ON OUR SHOULDERS ANYWAYS??
WHERE IS THE MALE BIRTH CONTROL PILL??? EVERY FEW YEARS IT'S PROMISED TO COME OUT "SOON" ...WHATEVER THAT MEANS ANYMORE....
my buddy's step-mother makes Dollar 73/hour on the computer. She has been without work for six months but last month her income was Dollar 12032 just working on the computer for a few hours. why not find out more...