Globally, 151 million people use contraceptive pills as a form of birth control. Scientists now say that the combined pill may affect a part of the brain in a way they did not initially realise.
When it comes to caring for women’s health, many mysteries remain.
This is primarily due to a lack of medical investigation throughout history, where men were overrepresented in most drug safety trials. As a result, doctors have been left with fewer data points on how medications affect – or don’t affect – the hormones and development of the opposite sex.
Diseases and illnesses that primarily affect women have also been understudied. As a result, women are known to spend more of their lives in poor health, despite living longer on average than their male counterparts.
These issues, collectively, are known as the gender health gap.
Around the world, greater strides are being taken to understand the intricacies of women’s bodies and health, as well as how drugs typically deemed safe for everyone may impact women differently.
As part of this endeavour, scientists at the University of Quebec in Montreal have been delving deeper into the less-understood side effects of contraceptive pills, which are used by 151 million women globally.
They’ve found that women taking the combined pill may process fear and other emotions differently due to the presence of synthetic chemicals in the medication’s formula.