DiscoverHarder to Kill RadioThis Is Your Brain On Birth Control w/ Dr. Sarah Hill
This Is Your Brain On Birth Control w/ Dr. Sarah Hill

This Is Your Brain On Birth Control w/ Dr. Sarah Hill

Update: 2019-10-08


If it has never occurred to you that your birth control may be changing the way your brain is functioning, you are not alone. Dr. Sarah Hill is an evolutionary psychologist, researcher, and professor who was on the pill for more than a decade. After coming off the pill Dr. Hill’s life went from grayscale to full color, and she realized that more research into the effects of the birth control on women from the neck up was critically necessary.

Not Anti-Birth Control Just Pro-Education

This discovery lead Dr. Hill to write her new book, This Is Your Brain on Birth Control, which works to help women understand the gap between the knowledge of women's biochemistry and how birth control affects the way your brain is working. 

Dr. Hill is not anti-birth control, but she is pro-education. By helping women understand the affect birth control is having on their brains, she works to help women become active participants in the conversation around birth control and help them make informed decisions about their health and who they want to be.

Birth control can play a role in everything from how you select a partner to your mood and your ability to handle stress. Hormones play a massive role in who we are and our experience of the world, and it is only through educating yourself on the role birth control plays in that will you be able to make the decision that is right for you. If you want to learn how birth control is affecting you from the neck up, this is an episode you can't miss. 

Have you ever considered how the birth control could be affecting you in ways beyond what your doctor may have told you? Share your birth control experience with us in the comments on the episode page.


On Today's Episode

  • Exposing the lack of research and knowledge surrounding how the pill affects your brain (16:05)
  • Understanding how the pill functionally and structurally changes women's brains (24:05)
  • Illustrating the role birth control can play in women's sex and stress hormones (32:15)
  • Deconstructing the overall effect of the pill on neurotransmitters in the brain (41:51)
  • How birth control can increase your risk of anxiety, depression, and more (42:30)



“The spirit of the book is about giving women information and actually allowing us even greater independence and greater agency in terms of making decisions that are informed about who we want to be and about our health.” (11:15)

“Another thing I really wanted to do with this book is to make women aware of this in addition to sort of raising some of the questions we should be asking about the way that the pill changes our brains, also letting women know that its time that we need to push science to change what they are doing.” (22:19)

“It is all consistent with this idea that the birth control pill may influence women's attunement to things that are sexy and that it might sort of deprioritize or deemphasize women's attunement to these qualities.” (31:42)

“We can start talking about what are the research questions that are really critical in terms of being answered next and in terms of allowing women to optimize their birth control and also optimize their lives and their health.” (41:28)

“I tolerated the pill really well, but then when I went off of it I had this feeling of transitioning from a two dimensional, black and white sort of grayscale drawing to life, fully vibrant, awake, alive life. And it really was eye-opening to me.” (53:37)


Resources Mentioned In This Show

This Is Your Brain on Birth Control by Dr. Sarah Hill

Dr. Sarah E Hill Website

Follow Dr. Hill on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Order The Core Four Here

Nutritional Therapy Association Website

Harder to Kill Radio is sponsored by the Nutritional Therapy Association. Registration is now open for the NTA’s October class. You can learn more and save your seat by clicking here (and don’t forget to mention my name on your application!)

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Check out the full show notes here!

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This Is Your Brain On Birth Control w/ Dr. Sarah Hill

This Is Your Brain On Birth Control w/ Dr. Sarah Hill

Steph Gaudreau