October 12, 2011
Birth Control Pill Makes Relationships Last Longer, But Sex Less Satisfying
A new study has found that women who are on the pill are less attracted to their partners and less sexually satisfied than women not taking the pill.
However, the study of over 2,500 couples also found that women who met their partner when they were using this contraceptive method are happier with the non-sexual aspects of their relationships.
The scientists used questionnaires to gauge the quality of 2,519 women's relationships with men. About half the women in the study were on the pill when they met their partners.
The researchers found both positive and negative consequences to using the pill and that these women are happier with non-sexual aspects of the relationship.
"Such women may, on average, be less satisfied with the sexual aspects of their relationship, but more so with non-sexual aspects," Craig Roberts at the University of Stirling, whose work is published on Wednesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, said in a statement.
"Overall, women who met their partner on the pill had longer relationships — by two years on average — and were less likely to separate. So there is both good news and bad news for women who meet [their partner] while on the pill. One effect seems to compensate for the other."
Roberts believes the finding could have something to do with a set of genes called the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). This is a key component of a person's immune system and includes a set of genes that play an evolutionary role in guiding people to find mates.
"Women tend to find genetically dissimilar men attractive because resulting babies will more likely be healthy," Roberts said in a press release. "It's part of the subconscious 'chemistry' of attraction between men and women."
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