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Beginning in the 1960s, the introduction of hormonal birth control pills introduced modern family planning to the world, preventing unwanted pregnancies and generally making the world a better place for everyone concerned. It turns out the pill may do even more than that, though. A new study shows that taking hormonal birth control before menopause may improve women’s cognitive function later in life, leaving them sharper and more mentally “with it” than peers who weren’t on the pill.

Published in the Journal of Women’s Health, the study of 261 women showed that women who had been on hormonal birth control scored better on  tests involving spatial reasoning and fast, flexible thinking. More than that though, the data suggests that the longer a woman was taking hormonal birth control, the more pronounced her improvements on the the tests were likely to be. Thus, the longer a woman is on birth control before menopause, the more mentally sharp she’s likely to be after it. Read full article.

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