We’ve told you numerous times about the many dangers birth control pills can have on your health, but could they also affect your romantic moods? Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported on new studies suggesting that women who use hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, are disrupting the chemical signals that affect their attractiveness to men, their preference for best suited romantic partners, relationship quality, libido, and the health of their offspring.
Chemistry plays a major role in the attraction between the sexes. Research shows that humans transmit and recognize information regarding sexual attraction through chemical scents called pheromones. Women naturally prefer the scents of men whose immune system genes are most different from their own, so that their children will be healthier since they will be protected from more pathogens.
The studies show that both men’s and women’s preferences in mates shift when a woman is ovulating, which is the time when she is fertile. When women are ovulating, they tend to be drawn to men with greater masculine features, which indicates that men are more fertile and have better genes to produce healthy offspring. Men tend to find women more attractive while they are ovulating because of the subtle cues women exhibit during this time.
The studies show that these natural mating preferences get wiped out when a woman is on birth control pills, which can lead to relationship dissatisfaction, less sexual responsiveness, fewer genetically healthy children, and women becoming inclined to stray from their partners. Women also report loss of libido and change in moods while on birth control pills. A 2004 study in Behavioral Ecology reported that men experienced the greatest attraction for the non-pill using women when they were ovulating, versus women on the pill.
Given the numerous health risks and the loss of romantic moods, is the pill really worth it to you? Weigh in and let us know what you think.