The ZRT Blog is one extensive source for patients and also health treatment providers searching for health and hormone experimentation information. Here, you can read around ZRT’s cutting edge research, advancements in testing, well-being advice, and health industry highlights.

Reliable contraception is a monumental accomplishment of the last century. An extremely effective at preventing pregnancy, dental contraceptives, typically referred to as "the Pill," are commonly prescribed to females of reproductive age.

You are watching: Can birth control change your personality

Aside from contraceptive purposes, the Pill can also be offered to act gynecological obstacle such as irregular or excessive bleeding, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), severe menstrual cramping, acne, and also endometriosis-associated pain, and their use has been connected with a reduced risk that endometrial cancer. 

The small Print – next Effects

Since its approval because that contraceptive objectives 55 years ago, major changes have actually been applied in the composition and also dosage that the Pill to alleviate side impacts without compromising efficacy.<1> even with these careful stepwise modifications, however, not every one of the Pill’s disadvantage manifestations have been eliminated. Varying from mild ones such as nausea, load gain, gastrointestinal disturbances, low libido, and tender breasts, to an ext severe side impacts like high blood pressure, migraines, elevated blood clotting, heart disease, and also gallbladder disease, the Pill introduce subtle changes to the equilibrium the one’s body.

For a number of women, these side effects are unbearable. One specific set of symptom that ns would choose to discuss today is mood disturbances that may arise as a consequence of being on the Pill. With an excellent reason, one Manhattan psychiatrist, Dr. Kelly Brogan, ad to oral contraceptives as "that naughty little pill," ranking mood and anxiety disorders as few of the most typical side effects reported by dental contraceptive users.<2>

Neuroendocrine attributes of Endogenous Estrogen & Progesterone

Hormones enliven us – indigenous conception to birth and beyond, they are the driving force behind every physiological procedure our bodies experience. Profound alters in hormone level accompany major transitions in a woman’s lifetime.

Beginning with puberty, estrogen and also progesterone level increase, and become even an ext elevated during pregnancy v a rapid decline in the postpartum period. During and after perimenopause and menopause, sex hormone levels continue to decrease and also remain low. Fluctuations in hormone levels regularly seem to parallel substantial shifts in mood, rendering part women more vulnerable to emerging mood disorders, such together anxiety and depression.

According come the monoamine theory of depression, variations in mood might arise native an imbalance in neurotransmitter level or alterations in signaling. In reality, depressive symptomatology is i can not qualify to be restricted to neurotransmitters alone, and also probably encompasses plenty of diverse class of molecules and also biological systems, including steroid hormones.<3> Apart from their function in procreation, ovarian hormones elicit vital regulatory results on the central nervous system.

The neuromodulatory function of estrogen and also progesterone expand to complicated biological procedures such as brain development and neuronal plasticity, and also plays a vital role in regulating cognition, learning, memory, emotion, mood, and also motor control. Modulation of this executive functions occurs either by straight actions the estrogen and also progesterone on your receptors,<4> or by interactions v the leading neurotransmitter systems, such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA and also glutamate.<5> Consequently, even subtle move in endogenous sex hormones throughout the expression cycle have the right to influence sports in mood states.

The duty of fabricated Hormones ~ above the main Nervous System

So what happens once a mrs takes oral contraceptives? due to the fact that the development of the Pill five years ago, the results of artificial hormones on emotions, cognition, and also memory have actually remained mostly unexplored. 

Just recently, the effects the Pill elicits top top women’s bodies started to it is in addressed. Because that starters, oral contraceptives deplete the body of vital vitamins and minerals. B vitamin (necessary cofactors in neurotransmitter production) and also the important trace aspects selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc deserve to plummet with consistent use the the Pill, meanwhile cadmium, calcium, stole (can induce oxidative stress), and copper level (low zinc and also high copper may lead to a multitude the ailments, including fatigue, depression, PMS, insomnia, headaches, hypertension, and many others) deserve to increase dramatically.<2><6> 

Additionally, fabricated hormones in the Pill centrally disrupt the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and locally inhibit ovarian manufacturing of estrogen, progesterone,<7> and testosterone.<8> The Pill also decreases hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis task and the response of the adrenal hormone cortisol.<9> Other recently arising studies report that oral contraceptives induce significant structural and functional transformations in the brain. Females on the Pill existing with considerable increases in the volume that gray matter in cortical regions<10> and in cerebral white matter,<11> areas that the mind responsible for processing emotions. 

Effects on atmosphere & Behavior

So exactly how do structural transforms translate to useful presentation, i.e., transforms in mood and also behavior? women using dental contraceptives may exhibit personality changes such as altered emotional memory,<12> recognition the anger, and risky decision making compared to naturally-cycling controls.<13> The an exact mechanism of how fabricated hormones modify mind structure and role are not known and will require extensive research in the future.

Individual sports in Vulnerability come Depressive side Effects

In the meantime, every this tho begs the inquiry – why perform some ladies respond well to dental contraceptives in terms of mood symptoms, and others acknowledge that depression is the biggest factor in your decision to discontinue the Pill? Who space the women that are an ext vulnerable to the pharmacological burden of dental contraceptives?

The answer may be complex and multifaceted, not well understood, and partially yet undiscovered. Because that starters, it shows up that women through a predisposition to psychiatric disorders (personal or family members history) because that whom exacerbation of atmosphere pathology synchronizes with hormonal fluctuations (pregnancy, postpartum, or beginning the Pill in ~ a young age) might be much more susceptible to developing adverse psychiatric symptoms once on the Pill.<2> And the other answer (one of many more) is genetics. 

A current study released in Neuroscience discover the function of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) in handling of emotional information in Pill users and also non-users.<13> dental contraceptives suppress cortisol cheap by editing and enhancing cortisol feedback to the brain, i m sorry is mediated by the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR). Granny are located in mind areas crucial for processing stressful information (cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus) and serve as essential targets once studying reaction to mental stress, such together emotional expression, vigilance, selective attention, and emotional memory. MRs deserve to be expressed as haplotypes 1, 2, or 3. The writer report that dental contraceptive use is connected with a depressogenic side effect presentation. However, those customers of the Pill that expressed grandfather haplotype 2 were protected against the negative effects of man-made hormones ~ above memory and perception. This study supplies a glimpse right into identifying one vital piece of the elaborate puzzle that includes mood disorders and explain why some however not every women experience mood swings once using the Pill.

Oral contraceptives room not a one-size-fits-all type of one entity. Over there are countless different combine of artificial estrogens and also progestins that comprise the Pill. Figuring out which kind could be ideal for her patient can take time, maintaining in mind the it is feasible that part patients might not have the ability to tolerate dental contraceptives in ~ all.

Learn about Neurotransmitter Testing


<1> Dhont,M. (2010) history of oral contraception. Eur. J. Contracept. Reprod. Health treatment 15 Suppl 2, S12-S18

<2> Kelly Brogan,M. (2016) A mind of your Own, HarperCollins Publishers

<3> Hindmarch,I. (2002) beyond the monoamine hypothesis: mechanisms, molecules and methods. Eur. Psychiatry 17 Suppl 3, 294-299

<4> Engler-Chiurazzi,E.B. et al. (2016) Estrogens together neuroprotectants: Estrogenic actions in the context of cognitive aging and brain injury. Prog. Neurobiol.

<5> Barth,C. et al. (2015) Sex hormones impact neurotransmitters and shape the adult female mind during hormonal change periods. Front Neurosci. 9, 37

<6> Pamela Wartian blacksmith (2008) What You must Know about Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & More. Selecting The nutrient That Are right For You., Square One Publishers

<7> De,B.T. et al. (2013) local gray matter volume differences and sex-hormone correlations as a function of menstrual bike phase and hormonal contraceptives use. Brain Res. 1530, 22-31

<8> Zimmerman,Y. et al. (2014) The effect of linked oral contraception top top testosterone level in healthy women: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Hum. Reprod. Update. 20, 76-105

<9> Nielsen,S.E. et al. (2013) hormonal contraception use changes stress responses and emotional memory. Biol. Psychol. 92, 257-266

<10> Pletzer,B. et al. (2010) expression cycle and hormonal contraceptive usage modulate human brain structure. Brain Res. 1348, 55-62

<11> De,B.T. et al. (2013) walk the usage of hormone contraceptives reason microstructural changes in cerebral white matter? Preliminary outcomes of a DTI and tractography study. Eur. Radiol. 23, 57-64

<12> Nielsen,S.E. et al.

See more: Can An Executive Order Be Reversed, Error 403 (Forbidden)

(2011) hormone contraception consumption is associated with transformed memory because that an emotional story. Neurobiol. Learn. Mem. 96, 378-384

<13> Hamstra,D.A. et al. (2015) Mineralocorticoid receptor haplotype, oral contraceptives and emotional details processing. Neuroscience 286, 412-422