By Alexandra Thompson Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 10:00 GMT, 11 February 2019 | Updated: 23:47 GMT, 11 February 2019
The pill may blur a woman's judgement and even impact her relationships, research suggests.
A study found taking the oral contraceptive causes subtle emotional changes to a woman's brain.
This makes her 10 per cent less likely to be able to read other people's facial expressions and feelings.
Although unclear why this occurs, the pill's impact on a woman's oestrogen and progesterone levels is thought to influence her empathy.
The pill may blur a woman's judgement and even impact her relationships (stock)
The research was carried out by the University of Greifswald in Germany and led by Dr Alexander Lischke, from the department of biological and clinical psychology.
'More than 100 million women worldwide use oral contraceptives, but remarkably little is known about their effects on emotion, cognition and behaviour,' Dr Lischke said.
'However, coincidental findings suggest that oral contraceptives impair the ability to recognise emotional expressions of others, which could affect the way users initiate and maintain intimate relationships.'
Dr Lischke argues that on top of birth control, a lot of emphasis is placed on the benefits of the pill - such as improving acne and easing heavy periods - but the downsides are often glazed over.
Hormonal birth control does not increase women's risk of depression, research suggested in February 2017.
Contrary to popular belief, contraceptive pills, implants or injections do not make women more likely to suffer from the mental-health condition, a study found.
Lead author Dr Brett Worly from Ohio State University, said: 'Depression is a concern for a lot of women when they're starting hormonal contraception.
'Based on our findings, this side effect shouldn't be a concern for most women, and they should feel comfortable knowing they're making a safe choice.'
The researchers blame platforms such as social media for making contraception complications seem more common than they are.
Dr Worly said: 'We live in a media-savvy age where if one or a few people have severe side effects, all of a sudden, that gets amplified to every single person.
'The biggest misconception is that birth control leads to depression. For most patients that's