Birth Control and the Brain!

By: Alexis Castro, Gabriela Gutierrez, Shannee Mak, and Victoria Solkovits

A podcast about the effects of oral birth control on women’s health, sexuality, and futures.

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Or [Read the Transcript](/audio/Gehrich-Birth Control and The Brain Final .pdf)

Since its introduction in the late 20th century, birth control has played a vital role in women’s independence, family planning, and reproductive health. Because of its importance, the effects of hormonal oral contraception on women’s bodies has not been considered to the maximum extent. In this podcast, we explore how hormonal contraception functions, its history in both its development and perception in the United States, and modern scientific research on its effect on the brain. We will explore how it affects womens’ hormonal system, and dive into research on interactions between birth control and cognition, sexual preference, and libido. We will also discuss the legal history of the pill, how this influenced its social acceptance, and how this all impacts various communities. Examining primary biomedical and sociological research and understanding the social implications of controversial findings allows us to uncover how birth control came to be. In light of this information, we discuss who birth control affects, to what extent it does, and also what the future of women’s reproductive health and perceptions of contraception might be.

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