Birth Control Makes You Smarter: Scientists

The pill makes your brain grow
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2010 2:52 PM CDT
Birth Control Makes You Smarter: Scientists
In this August 1974 file photo, a woman holds a birth control pill dispenser in New York.   (AP Photo/Jerry Mosey, File)

Birth control pills make certain areas of a woman’s brain grow, boosting memory, social skills, and something called the “conversation hub,” according to a new study. Based on high-resolution images of the brains of 14 men and 28 women, researchers determined that birth control caused about a 3% boost in gray matter, the Daily Mail reports.

The effects were the same no matter which formulation of the drug was used. Areas of the brain traditionally dominated by men—like those associated with spatial skills—were untouched by the effect. The brain’s overall size did not grow, however, and it’s unknown whether the enlarged parts shrink back to size once a woman stops taking the pill. (Read more birth control stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.