health

Apparently coming off the Pill can also put you off your partner. Cool.

A new study into the contraceptive pill has found that your taste in men may differ when you’re on or off the Pill.

And if you stop taking it when you’re already with someone, you could feel… well, differently about them.

The study, which was published in Evolutionary Psychological Science, analysed three groups of women: women who were on birth control when they met their partners, and then went off of it; women who were on birth control when they met their partners and were still taking it; and women who weren’t on birth control when they met their partners.

When women aren’t on the Pill, they’re naturally drawn to the body odour of men who have different immune systems to their own.

The first author of the study, Gurit Birnbaum, told Vice: “A potential child would benefit from having parents with different immune systems, and so women have evolved to be sexually attracted to men with dissimilar immune systems, especially during high-fertility phases of their cycles.”

So far so good, right?

Until you add in all the hormones apparently.

Can these guys alter who we're attracted to? Image via Getty.

Speaking to Psychology Today, Birnbaum explained the study’s findings:

“These contraceptive pills introduce hormones that suppress ovulation and lead to temporary fertility loss, similarly to what happens during pregnancy.

“Consequently, heterosexual women's perception of men may serve a different function than that occurring around ovulation: They may pursue a cooperative partner who assists with childcare rather than a genetically compatible partner.

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“Women may, therefore, revert to having opposite mate preferences, becoming fixed on seeking less genetically compatible men whose body odour resembles that of their apparently supportive genetic relatives.

Riiight.

She went further to say it can actually affect the levels of attraction towards your partner when you stop taking it:

“Women who had taken hormonal contraceptives while meeting their partner and later discontinued their usage (as many do when they wish to conceive) may feel disenchanted with their initial partner,” she said.

Well, that’s a bit of an inconvenience, isn’t it?

Of course this is just one study but look, it's definitely food for thought. We always knew there were many ways hormonal contraceptive pills could alter our mood, but changing how we view partners or potential partners is pretty freaky stuff.

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