Recently there is increasing evidence that birth control pills affect women’s health, their body and brain.
New article by German scientists suggests that oral contraceptives can affect the social behaviour of women, informs Rus.Media.
According to Alexander Lsce (Alexander Lischke), one of the authors of the article, which was published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, women shouldn’t worry ahead of time: the effect of taking such pills is so weak that he barely felt human. In research took part the employees of Rostock, Greifswald and Potsdam universities.
Despite the fact that these drugs are among the most widely studied in medical history, scientists know little enough about the emotional impact of such pills, although globally, around 100 million women use them to prevent pregnancy or to control the menstruation.
“If oral contraceptives caused significant abnormalities in emotional perception in women, we probably would have noticed this in our daily relations with our partners. We assumed that these violations will be barely perceptible, that indicates that we were supposed to check the recognition of women’s emotions using tests sensitive enough to identify such deviations,” explains Lsce.
The study involved 94 patients: 41 women, they all took birth control, and 53 women who did not use these pills. During the experiment, study participants were given the task of recognition of emotions of other people, mostly associated with the manifestation tricks. Before starting, the participants answered questions about their menstrual cycle, contraceptive use, age, education, disorders, and experiences. Then they were given a test that checked their ability to read subtle social cues for black-and-white images of the human eye. Participants were shown a variety of intense expressions from minimal to moderate complexity and maximum.
The results were subtle but significant. While the group is equally well recognized light emotional expression, women taking the pill, was nearly 10% worse in identifying the most challenging ones. The result does not depend on the phase of the menstrual cycle the participant or the type of birth control they took.
According to Lsce, these results correlate with previous studies, which showed that the levels of estrogen and progesterone can influence the recognition of emotions women: oral contraceptives act by suppressing the level of these hormones. However, the exact mechanism underlying the induced oral contraceptive changes in the definition of women’s emotions, remains to be seen.