It is currently not fully understood how and to what extent synthetic hormones in oral contraceptives influence the female brain and behaviour, and how this is related to the development of depression. Previous studies have resulted in different findings in this area of research; yet, the ways in which synthetic hormones in oral contraceptives influence the female body and brain are currently understudied. The aim of this paper is to shine light on the connections between endocrinology and psychological processes, while looking through a neurobiological lens. By bridging the fields of neuropsychology, neurophysiology and neuroendocrinology, this project will start to sketch a holistic overview of the effects of synthetic hormones in oral contraceptives, in relation to high depression rates in females. By analyzing the effects of synthetic hormones on brain structure and function, we learn more about their connection to depression; more knowledge on this subject could ultimately be used to improve psychological well being in females.
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