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Contraceptive Pill Makes Women 'Brainier'

18/08/2010 10:10 | Updated 22 May 2015

Women who take the contraceptive pill have bigger brains than their pill-free counterparts, a study has found.

Scientists at Salzberg University discovered using the contraceptive pill - which 3.5million women in Britain do - increases brain size by around 3 per cent.

Dr Belinda Pletzer from Salzburg University said there was no doubt the Pill was having a 'tremendous effect' on women's brains.

She said: 'Larger volumes of a brain area could lead to an improvement of the functions this area is responsible for. Looking at the brain areas involved in our study, which are larger in Pill users compared to naturally-cycling women, this could concern several higher order brain functions, especially memory and verbal skills.

'The behavioural changes due to contraceptive use are likely to affect those skills that are already better developed in women compared to men like, for example, memory.'

The areas of growth experienced by pill users were found to be in parts of the brain which tended to be larger in women anyway, in particular, those needed for conversation and social skills. There was little change in the areas usually more dominant in men, such as the grey matter necessary for spatial skills like map reading.

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Have you felt brainier since taking the Pill?

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