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  • Writer's pictureBrandy Oswald

How Hormonal Birth Control Changes Your Brain

There’s a common misconception that hormonal birth control only impacts our ovaries and reproductive system, but what many people don’t realize is that hormonal birth control impacts our bodies in many ways including how our brains work.

Think about it…

If hormonal birth control can cause anxiety, mood changes, & mental health challenges, then it must change how our brains have been working.

If hormonal birth control can prevent ovulation, which begins in our brains, then it must change how our brains work.

Did you know that ovulation begins in our brains? It’s true.

In order for your ovaries to release an egg during ovulation the pituitary gland in the brain must produce follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to grow ovarian follicles that house our eggs in each cycle and luteinizing hormone (LH) to trigger ovulation itself. If the brain doesn’t release adequate amounts of follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, we will not ovulate. That’s biology.

When we’re on a form of hormonal birth control that prevents ovulation like the pill, the ring, and in some cases the IUD, our pituitary gland is suppressed so that it doesn’t produce optimal amounts of FSH or LH to trigger ovulation. This, my friends, means that these forms of hormonal birth control change the way our brain works.

And, then there is the obvious way that hormonal birth control changes our brain - mental health changes. Some of the most common side effects of hormonal birth control include anxiety, depression, and mental health changes… all issues that impact our brain and brain chemistry. This, too, points to hormonal birth control changing our brains.

Progestins, the synthetic progesterone in hormonal birth control, are known to cause anxiety and mental health symptoms. In fact, the molecular structure of progestins in hormonal birth control like levonorgestrel is more similar to the molecular structure of testosterone, an anxiety enhancing hormone, than it is to natural progesterone, a soothing hormone. For more details on this, I highly recommend this post by Lara Briden, ND author of Period Repair Manual.

This is all to say that, no, hormonal birth control does not have a localized effect on the reproductive system only.

No, hormonal birth control doesn’t just impact the ovaries, estrogen, & progesterone.

No, the hormones in hormonal birth control are not the same as our natural hormones and therefore do not have the same exact impact on our bodies.

This is important information to share with babes when offering them hormonal birth control.

Sharing this information is INFORMED CONSENT.

Informed consent is vital to making empowered birth control choices, understanding our bodies & how they work, and feeling confident and cared for as we navigate our sexual and reproductive wellness.

I am not anti-hormonal birth control. I am PRO informed consent.

When you went on hormonal birth control, were you educated by your doctors about how hormonal birth control works and how it impacts your whole body wellness?

Interested in learning how to break free from hormonal birth control and use cycle tracking methods of natural birth control like I have for the past 10 years?! You can scoop up one of my free consult calls here.

And, you can learn all about my 1-on-1 Cycle Wisdom Mentoring work here.

Disclaimer: Brandy Oswald, Sauvage Wellness LLC, and her employees are not doctors, nurses, physicians, psychotherapists, or in anyway licensed medical practitioners and information presented here is to serve as an educational resource and not to be interpreted as: (1) medical advice; (2) a 100% effective birth control or pregnancy achievement options or (3) nutrition or health guidelines. By reading this you acknowledge that you understand that as a specialized form of consulting, fertility awareness education is not the same as professional or licensed therapy or medical advice and intervention; and recognize that it is your responsibility to seek such services from a licensed professional. Brandy Oswald is not a medical provider and cannot give medical advice. All information provided by Sauvage Wellness LLC and Brandy Oswald is of a general nature and is intended only for educational purposes to help with your personal health improvement goals and should not be relied on as medical advice. Always consult a physician with any health concerns and prior to changing your diet, lifestyle, supplements, birth control, fitness, or prescription medicine routine. Should you choose to use the information provided by Brandy Oswald it is of your own volition and you recognize that neither Brandy nor Sauvage Wellness LLC is not held liable for any intended or unintended outcomes.

All viewers hereby WAIVE AND RELEASE Brandy Oswald and Sauvage Wellness LLC from any claim, demand, cause of action of any kind resulting from or related to my participation in classes, workshops, and all service offerings provided by Brandy and Sauvage Wellness. As a view you hereby acknowledge that you are fully responsible for any and all risks, injuries, or damages, known or unknown, which might occur as a result of your participation.

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