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Millennials and Contraception: Why Do We Forget?

To mark World Contraception Day 2016 (September 26th) Bayer has conducted revealing new research entitled ‘Millennials and Contraception – Why do we forget’, which sheds light on how daily stress and lifestyle changes have a profound impact on Irish millennial women’s memory.

The research, conducted amongst Irish women aged 21-29, revealed that over half (60%) of Irish millennial women are often so preoccupied on a daily basis that they forget all about key daily tasks. Indeed, the most common things that women forget to do as a result of daily stress include removing their make-up before bed (47%), taking their contraception pill (42%) and charging their phone (41%).

This type of daily forgetfulness is something which Irish women appear to be accepting rather than questioning, with almost one-in-three (29%) seeing their tendency to forget as being simply part of life. 

According to Trinity College Dublin psychologist Professor Sabina Brennan, who joined the campaign to shed light on how stress affects our brain: “This new research sheds great light on the impact of daily stress on millennial women’s habits and memory – it adds to existing work on the unique challenges faced by the millennial generation; challenges previous generations have not had to face. 


“Stress can sometimes be spoken about in a light-hearted manner without a real appreciation for how poorly managed chronic stress truly affects us long-term,” she explains.


According to Professor Brennan, however, stress isn’t always a bad thing.


“A properly controlled stress response can give us extra energy and focus needed to cope with challenge. But in today’s complex world psychological and social stressors can be unrelenting for millennial women, and can affect health, well-being and even memory.


In reality, she explains, chronic stress can change your brain - affecting brain size, structure and function. High levels of cortisol, produced by the brain in times of stress, over long periods of time can negatively affect your brain. Over time, excess cortisol can particularly affect the part of the brain that controls concentration and memory.

The impact of life changes

Daily stress isn’t the only thing to trigger forgetfulness among Irish millennial women. According to the new research, over three-quarters (77%) blame major life changes for increasing their stress levels and ability to remember daily responsibilities. 


Millennial women reportedly experience an average of two major disruptions to their daily lives over a 12-month period. The top five life changes which result in stress for Irish millennial women include the following:

  • Starting a new job/course (46%)
  • Having an argument with a close friend/family (42%)
  • Starting a new diet/exercise regime (41%)
  • Moving house (28%)
  • Family bereavement (22%)


The research also provides insights into the impact of stress on contraception habits of Irish millennial women. Over two-thirds (68%) claim that they are more likely to forget about taking their contraception pill when they are stressed and preoccupied.


Of those, 67% of women forget to take their contraception pill once or twice a month and one-third admit forgetting to take it once a week or more. 65% have considered alternative contraception methods that do not need to be taken daily.


To learn more about World Contraception Day 2016 visit


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