Birth Control Pills Affect Memory

Are you having trouble remembering? Don’t worry it isn’t because of your contraceptives. They don’t cause you to loose memory-just affect the details you remember.

According to a study, by the University of California, women using birth control contraceptives will remember the gist of an emotional event while those not on contraceptives remember details. Shawn Neilsen UCI graduate researcher stressed that medications don’t damage memory they simply change the type of information women remember.

For the study, women were grouped into two categories, those on either contraceptive or those experiencing natural hormonal cycles. Both groups were shown photographs of a mother, her son and a car accident. In each group some were told the car hit a curb while others were told the car hit the boy and injured him.

A week later the participants were given a surprise test about what they recalled.

“Women using hormonal contraceptives for as little as one month remembered more clearly the main steps in the traumatic event – that there had been an accident, that the boy had been rushed to the hospital, that doctors worked to save his life and successfully reattached both his feet, for instance. Women not using them remembered more details, such as a fire hydrant next to the car.”

Contraception suppresses the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone to prevent pregnancy, which is generally linked to women’s left brain. Consequently the suppression may cause women to remember emotional events similar to men.

The findings may lead to the answers that differentiate the sexes in stressful situations.

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