This post reviews some scientific literature on oral/hormonal contraceptives which have shown frightening, and possibly permanent consequences to the emotional constitution of adolescent females on the Pill.
Readership: All; Parents of adolescent daughters; Women who use birth control pills; Men interested in vetting a woman for a relationship;
A previous post on Σ Frame, How the Pill Changes the Brain and Emotions (2019 October 28), covered how Oral/Hormonal Contraceptive (HOC) medication (AKA birth control pills) dulls the emotional constitution of women on the pill, among other things. But the effects of the Pill are not at all consistent across age. Younger women face the most risk when taking HOC’s, and the risks decrease with age.
This is somewhat understandable, since both HOC’s and puberty involves drastic changes in hormone levels. The main steroid hormones, testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone as well as prolactin play important physiological functions, both in puberty, and in hormonal contraception. The hormonal maturation of females is considerably more complicated than in boys, and it becomes even further nuanced under hormone therapy.
So perhaps one of the most frightening effects of the pill is what it does to pubescent girls.
The shocking prevalence of women on the Pill
The number of women using oral contraceptives is horrifically huge. To offer some figures…
The pill is the number one contraceptive method in Africa, Europe, and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific islands). It is also the most prevalent form of reversible contraception in the Americas .
Out of 46,112 studied in the United Kingdom, Hannaford et al.  found that 62.4% of women were ever users, and that 63.6% of Pill users were under the age of 30.
Zettermark  breaks down the number of Swedish women on the pill during 2010–2011 by age as follows.
- 77% of girls aged 12-14 years
- 8% of girls aged 15–17 years
- 2% of the women aged 18–20
- 3% of women aged 21-30.
It is expected that women on the Pill would be of child-bearing age, but the majority of these women are under the age of 20!
Why are Teenage Girls prime targets for the Pill?
Dr. Angela Franchini noted the many reasons why teenage girls want to be on the Pill, as well as their parents. 
Why do teenage girls love the Pill?
- They have lighter periods.
- They have periods accompanied by less pain.*
- They have more predictable periods due to increased regularity.
- Their breasts grow larger and fuller.
- For many girls, the hormonal changes caused by the pill improves their skin complexion.
- They think they don’t need to worry about pregnancy, should anything “just happen”.
Why do parents of teenage girls love the Pill?
- In general, parents worry less.
- Parents think the pill will prevent their daughter from getting pregnant.
- Parents think that using the pill makes them and their daughter “responsible” for the daughter’s sexuality.
- Parents resort to psychological defenses to deny the risks. “It’s for acne.” “It’s for painful periods.**”
- Parents are unaware of the medical risks associated with using the pill.
Mortality Risks are higher for younger women
A previous post on Σ Frame covered How the Pill Kills (October 15, 2019). One point I did not cover is that the risk of mortality corresponds inversely with age. That is, the younger the woman is, and the longer she takes the Pill, the greater the risk.
In a 2010 study done on 46,112 women observed for up to 39 years, resulting in 378,006 woman years of observation among never users of oral contraception and 819,175 among ever users. Hannaford et al. found an increase in mortality among women of childbearing age, but a reduction in mortality for post-menopausal women. 
In summary, OC use significantly increases the risk of mortality for younger women, and this effect decreases with age so much that older women actually experience a decrease in mortality. The data was broken down as follows.
- age <30: 20 more deaths per 100,000 woman years
- age 30-39: 4 more deaths per 100,000 woman years
- age 40-49: 14 fewer deaths per 100,000 woman years
- age 50-59: 86 fewer deaths per 100,000 woman years
- age 60-69: 122 fewer deaths per 100,000 woman years
- age ≥70: 308 fewer deaths per 100,000 woman years
There is a very clear trend in this data. Note that the age at which the Pill begins to reduce mortality is right around menopause.
Hannaford didn’t offer a breakdown for age stratification under 30 years of age, but an extrapolation might show that the risk increases exponentially into the teen years, just as it does with aging.
“From the full dataset, the estimated overall absolute reduction in mortality among ever users of oral contraception was 52 per 100,000 woman years, with larger benefits in older women outweighing more modest excess risks among younger women.” 
“In the youngest (<30 years) age group, ever users of oral contraceptives had an almost threefold greater rate of any death than did never users (adjusted relative risk 2.85, 1.17 to 6.94). From the age of 50, however, the rate of any death among ever users of oral contraceptives was significantly lower than that in never users. In all categories of smoking, social class, and parity, ever users of oral contraception had lower all cause mortality than did never users” 
Think about that sentence in boldface for a moment. We might expect the older age group to have a greater mortality rate, simply because they’re older. But no, in addition to this difference, younger women who had ever used OC’s had a threefold greater rate of any death than did never users – and this in spite of the fact that the ever users population had fewer smokers!
Hannaford glosses over this by pointing out that when all ages are included in the statistics, the overall mortality rate is lower for ever users. Proponents of the pill are quick to jump on this conclusion, but in doing so, they ignore the increased risks to younger women who are inherently more valuable in terms of procreative potential.
My conclusion would be that the Pill is for geriatrics, not for obstetrics.
Effects of the Pill on Neurological Development
In a 2014 review paper, Pletzer and Kerschbaum  identified one neurological link between progestin and psychology.
“Progestin affecting either metabolism of neurosteroids or binding to GABAA receptors may have not only transient but also neuroplastic consequences. We assume that the potential influence of progestins on GABAergic transmission is highly relevant in pubescent girls using hormonal contraceptives [for the following reasons].
- With onset of puberty, neurosteroid sensitive GABA receptor expression increases at extrasynaptic sites in female mice (Smith, 2009).
- Enhanced GABAergic transmission shortens whereas depression of GABAergic transmission extends the critical period in structural consolidation of neuronal circuits in the visual cortex in mice (Hensch, 2005).
- Final volume of the prefrontal cortex is not reached until the early twenties in humans (Yurgelun-Todd, 2007).
The maturing of the prefrontal cortex is associated with improvement in cognitive abilities as well as behavioral control (Yurgelun-Todd, 2007). The prefrontal cortex appears to be one target of structural changes in hormonal contraceptive users (Pletzer et al., 2010; DeBondt et al., 2013). Accordingly, pharmacological intervention by the early use of hormonal contraceptives could affect the differentiation of neural circuits in the prefrontal cortex.”
Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter (a chemical messengers) in the brain. GABA is considered an inhibitory neurotransmitter because it blocks, or inhibits, certain brain signals and decreases activity in the nervous system.
When GABA attaches to a protein in the brain known as a GABA receptor, it produces a calming effect. This can help with feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear. It may also help to prevent seizures. Too much stress is linked to poor sleep, a weaker immune system, and a higher risk of depression, among other things.
In addition, people with certain medical conditions may have lower levels of GABA. Some of these conditions include:
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- mood disorders, such as depression
- movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease
- panic disorder
- seizure disorders
In simple language, the use of HOC’s during puberty has a drastic influence on the development of neural structures, and based on studies of mice, this is presumed to have lifelong effects.
Psychological Effects of the Pill
In 2016, researchers at the University of Copenhagen studied the health records of more than a million Danish women aged between 15 and 34, in one of the largest studies to date . They found that…
- Women on the combined pill – which contains artificial versions of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone – were 23% more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant than those not on hormonal contraception.
- For women on the progestin-only pill, the figure rose to 34%.
- For girls aged between 15 and 19 on the combined pill, it increased even further, to 80% more likely.
The authors concluded,
“Use of hormonal contraception, especially among adolescents, was associated with subsequent use of antidepressants and a first diagnosis of depression, suggesting depression as a potential adverse effect of hormonal contraceptive use.”
In a 2018 study of 815,662 Swedish women between the ages of 12 to 30, Zettermark et al.  concluded that hormonal contraception is strongly associated with psychotropic drug use among adolescent girls, suggesting an adverse effect of hormonal contraceptives on psychological health within this population.
Age-stratified odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (black lines) for the association between use of hormonal contraceptives and a first-time use of psychotropic drugs within a one-year follow-up after baseline (2010–2011) in 815,662 Swedish women. Crude (black circles) and adjusted (gray squares) values. Adjustments were made for age, family income, highest educational level in family, previous hospitalizations, outpatient hospital visits, and having a diagnosis of thromboembolism, epilepsy or migraine, or menstrual disturbances including endometriosis. [Zettermark, et al. 2018]
Zettermark found that women using pills and IUD’s that only contained progesterone were more likely to suffer from negative psychological side effects requiring medication. It was also found that girls aged 12-14 using a hormonal patch or intravaginal ring suffered significantly higher rates of psychological distress than those taking hormonal contraceptive pills.
The Large Scale, Longitudinal Impact of the Pill
With the sheer number of women on the pill, this medication spells out sinister consequences for society. In his conclusions, Pletzer wrote,
“As the number of women using oral contraceptives constantly increases, while the age of first contraceptive use constantly decreases down to sensitive neuroplastic periods during puberty, the associated changes in personality and social behavior imply significant consequences for society.”
Here, “significant consequences for society” may very well read “increased rates of relationship failure, domestic violence, and divorce”. These aspects will be covered in a separate post.
Pletzer revealed the Black Hand when he wrote,
“The hormonal contraceptive pill is the major tool for population control. Hence, such behavioral changes could cause a shift in society dynamics and should not stay unattended.”
A brief outline, summarizing the contents of this essay and the scientific research papers cited within, is as follows.
- The risks associated with hormonal treatments decrease with age. Pubescent girls are affected the worst.
- Small chemical imbalances in the body’s endocrine system lead to big changes.
- The pill masculinizes the brain structure.
- The pill puts the female’s body into “pregnant mode”.
- The pill causes a loss of libido resulting in a reduced appetite for sex.
- The pill creates a false sense of calm by reducing anxiety and panic attacks.
- Women on the pill are more likely to experience clinical depression. Depression brings its own unique set of symptoms, including her inability to function normally and feel loved.
- For adolescent girls, the pill alters the development of the brain, especially the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for cognitive ability, emotional processing, and behavioral control. These changes are believed to last permanently.
All these effects bring changes in a woman’s personality, social behavior, love life, and all the related decisions she might make.
Parents, please consider the negative consequences listed above before putting your daughter on the pill. The resulting hormonal changes are psychologically disturbing for girls under 18, and carry lifelong consequences.
Take responsibility for your daughter’s body and sexuality without resorting to soul-bending drugs.
God’s way is best!
* The medication that gynecologists prescribe for menstrual pain is similar or the same as that for birth control.
Note: This post may be updated upon future developments.
- Earth Policy Institute (feat. Brigid Fitzgerald Reading): Growth in World Contraceptive Use Stalling; 215 Million Women’s Needs Still Unmet(27 March 2012)
- Hannaford, L. Iversen, T. V. MacFarlane, A. M. Elliott, V. Angus, A. J. Lee, “Mortality among contraceptive pill users: cohort evidence from Royal College of General Practitioners’ Oral Contraception Study”, The British Medical Journal(BMJ) 2010, 340.
- Zettermark, R. P. Vicente, J. Merlo, “Hormonal contraception increases the risk of psychotropic drug use in adolescent girls but not in adults: A pharmacoepidemiological study on 800 000 Swedish women”, PLoS One, 2018; 13(3).
- Angela Franchini, How the Pill Kills (via. a speech presentation on YouTube).
- A. Pletzer, H. H. Kerschbaum, “50 years of hormonal contraception-time to find out, what it does to our brain,” Frontal Neuroscience, 2014 Aug 21;8:256.
- W. Skovlund, L. S. Mørch, Ø. Lidegaard, “Association of Hormonal Contraception With Depression”, JAMA Psychiatry, 2016.
- Σ Frame: Abortion and Birth Control