How the Pill changes your mind

Description: Description: How the Pill changes your mind

Hormones rule moods; if you’re on the Pill, you’re no exception.

The brain boost

Pill users might have increased grey area in brain regions such as the prefrontal cortex. But, say experts, it’s too early to speculate whether this could lead to better brain function.

The attraction factor

Women typically go for guys whose immune systems differ from theirs. But those on the Pill might prefer men whose systems are similar to their own. Experts speculate that by halting ovulation, the Pill mimics pregnancy, a condition that compels women to seek support from genetic kin. And new science shows men might subconsciously pick up on Pill-induced hormonal changes and find women with low odds of conceiving less attractive.

3 – The average pregnancy rate per 100 women using the Pill

82 – Percentage of women who have taken the Pill at some point in their lives

25 – Number of Pill brands now on the SA market

100 million – The number of women worldwide currently using the Pill to prevent pregnancy.


I work out at gym three times a week and usually run or ride on the weekend. I’ve just discovered I’m eight weeks pregnant. Can I continue my regimen?

Description: Description: Can I continue my regimen?

Regular exercise is important for an uncomplicated pregnancy. The general rule is to maintain the amount of exercise, but not increase it drastically. So don’t attempt a marathon when you usually jog around the block: cardiovascular exercise is good, but not to the point of exhaustion. You will be more tired than usual and, as the pregnancy progresses, you will find your body naturally has to slow down. Cycling can be difficult later in pregnancy. Not to mention the awkward saddle, a fall could pose a risk to the baby. Most gym equipment is safe during pregnancy, but tell class instructors that you are pregnant.

I go to the bathroom almost every half an hour, yet I’m not drinking that much. Should I be worried?

The first step is to exclude a bladder infection (cystitis) and diabetes. Both can cause urinary frequency. Most likely the cause is an overactive bladder where your muscle contracts inappropriately, signaling you to pass urine before your bladder’s full. A common cause is the habit of emptying your bladder “just in case”. It’s very important to drink plenty of fluids despite these symptoms, but avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol as these can aggravate the irritability. You need to retrain your bladder by increasing the interval between bathroom visits. If you’re still struggling, there are physios who specialize in bladder training, and pharmaceutical agents too.

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