Unbelievable negative side effect of taking the birth control pill – plus 5 other health risks revealed
(NaturalHealth365) The birth control pill has been long-heralded as one of the most innovative and important drugs ever to hit the market. But while we recognize the importance of reproductive health, we’ve had concerns for a long time about the side effects of this popular prescription medication.
Doctors and scientists have known for years the range of health problems and risks imposed by oral contraceptives (so you can understand our equal level of concern over breaking news that birth control pills are being investigated!).
Now new research reveals a surprising new side effect of “the pill” that may further isolate and challenge girls and women.
Women taking a birth control pill struggle with ’emotional recognition’
A team of researchers from Germany recently published an eye-opening paper in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Neuroscience. Their study, titled “Oral Contraceptives Impair Complex Emotion Recognition in Healthy Women” ran a group of healthy women (42 of them on oral contraceptives, 53 not) through an emotional recognition test.
How well could these women identify the emotions of other people, based on complex and nuanced social cues and facial expressions?
The researchers determined that “women with [oral contraceptive] use were indeed less accurate” – by a margin of about 10 percent – “in the recognition of complex expressions than women without [oral contraceptive] use,” especially with “difficult to recognize” expressions such as pride and contempt.
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Simpler emotions, such as fear and happiness, seemed to be spared the medication-induced oversight.
The idea that taking such a common prescription medication can negatively alter a person’s psychological health may be surprising at first glance. But reams of data also indicate oral contraceptives increase the risk of depression – which women experience at a higher rate than men.
What’s going on?
The leading (and logical) hypothesis is that oral contraceptives alter a woman’s sex hormones, thereby influencing the neurobehavioral elements of a healthy psychological profile.
Unfortunately, that’s not the only thing the pill does.
As if emotional difficulties weren’t troubling enough – check out these 5 other harmful side effects
Over 100 million women (and girls) around the world use oral contraceptives – often for decades! We think physicians need to do a better job at clearly explaining the negative side effects these patients are likely to face.
In addition to emotional recognition difficulties and depression, common adverse effects and risk factors of the pill include:
- Weight gain and a decrease in lean body mass
- Decrease a woman’s sex drive
- Increased risk of cancer, including cervical, breast, liver, ovarian and endometrial cancers
- Increased risk of heart disease, including stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), and high blood pressure
- Headaches and migraines
Women need to be aware of these well-documented consequences of this prescription medication. They should be educated more about other effective and affordable birth control options which are safer and impose less of a risk to physical and mental health.
And in light of the new “male birth control pill” that’s been racing through clinical trials, we ask that doctors give the same due diligence to male patients, as well.
Sources for this article include: