Are you using the pill?
Here are 5 of the ways that the pill might be messing with your love life:
You like the smell of guys or girls who are wrong for you romantically.
When our hormones are balanced and healthy and when (biochemically speaking) we’re on the hunt for a baby daddy (which means you! It doesn’t matter if you never want kids or if you aren’t attracted to men.
If you’re ovulating, your body goes through the biochemical hunt for a good reproductive partner every month), we are primed to be attracted to men to whom we are genetically dissimilar, which lowers the chance of miscarriage and increases the likelihood of having a healthy baby. It also tends to make for more satisfying sex and happier relationships.
Studies show that if you are on the pill, you are more likely to gravitate toward men who smell like you (possibly because the pill simulates pregnancy and pregnant women are drawn toward nurturing and supportive biological relatives, or folks who smell like them). In this way, the pill acts like an anti-cupid, steering you away from your ideal romantic match.
You become less attractive to the opposite or same sex.
Pheromones are chemical messengers released by the body—and research shows that women’s pheromones can, quite literally, cast a spell over men and women when it comes to romance.
Pheromones act as a sort of ‘love potion’ when they are released, increasing a person’s attraction to a women.
But studies have shown that the pill stops production of these attraction-enhancing pheromones, and that might have negative consequences for your romantic and sexual life.
It might make your attraction to your current partner disappear (gasp!).
If you start a relationship when you’re on the pill then you may find, if and when you come off, that you’re no longer attracted to your partner.
One study found that unless your mate is considered conventionally good-looking by evolutionary standards, you may then find them unattractive after you quit taking hormonal birth control. Here is what study author Michelle Russell told Time magazine in 2014:
“Women who choose a partner when they’re on hormonal contraceptives and then stop taking them will prioritize their husband’s attractiveness more than they would if they were still on it. The effect that it would have on her marital satisfaction would carry more weight.”
It can suppress your sex drive.
A woman’s sex drive should peak around ovulation, but the pill prevents this from happening. Not only that, but the synthetic hormones in hormonal birth control deplete your testosterone reserves, which, along with balanced hormones, is a key to your sexual desire and enjoyment.
Research has linked oral contraceptives with female sexual dysfunction, including less frequent sexual activity, arousal, pleasure, and orgasm, and difficulty with lubrication.
Oral contraceptives have also been linked with recurrent yeast infections—and there’s nothing like a yeast infection to sink one’s sex drive
It can lower your mood (which decreases your chances of getting in the mood).
The pill has been linked to depression and anxiety, particularly in those women who may have a history of mental health issues.
And many women are put on the pill for what’s actually a bad case of PMS—which can be addressed naturally—only to find that it makes their mood swings worse.
For some, these mood changes manifest themselves as a bad case of the “blahs,” or just kinda feeling “meh” about everything (otherwise known as anhedonia).
Women are supposed to feel a range of emotions throughout their natural cycle, and being in touch with the ebbs and flows of your feelings can actually enhance your relationship.
Feeling so-so about everything all the time doesn’t lend itself to romance. When you’re feeling blah, you’d just as rather watch TV than make-out with your sweetheart.