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Birth Control Pills Affect Long-Term Relationships

A woman's attraction to you might be clouded by her choice of contraception.

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A recent study shows that hormone-based contraceptives can decrease a woman’s testosterone and send her in search of men with lower levels themselves. Without artificial hormones, women tend to be attracted to men with high testosterone levels—the rugged ones with the strong jawline and copious amounts of facial hair. Also the kind of men who tend to cheat more on their girlfriend and are worse at providing for a family. Testosterone isn’t just for men, though. In women, the hormone stimulates sexual desire and fantasy, and helps them become lubricated in response to arousal. When they take oral contraceptives containing estrogen, their testosterone levels drop, and the gentle, stable man starts looking like a better husband choice. This may not seem like a problem, but a woman’s taste in men may change after she stops taking the pill. This is supported by previous studies, which found that women who went off their birth control found their husband less attractive and sexually exciting. Probably not the honeymoon gift he was looking for. Some sexual health experts are so concerned about these findings that they are telling women to go off the pill and switch to using condoms. This is especially important, they say, if a woman met her future husband while on the pill. Another alternative is sticking with the pill. Over the long run, women on hormone-based contraceptives tend to be happier in their relationship, and more likely to stay with their husband, than pill-free women.

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