Does your contraceptive pill make your boyfriend more attractive?

There are lots of rumours surrounding the contraceptive pill, but now a study has found that hormonal contraceptives, which include the contraceptive pill, could potentially make your partner appear more attractive. The results, which were published by the National Academy of Science, show that hormonal contraceptives can influence how women perceive facial attractiveness, and can even have an effect on relationship satisfaction.

During the study, in which 118 newly-wed couples took part, wives reported on how attractive they thought their partner was, every six months for four years. They then submitted information about when they had been using hormonal contraceptives during the same period. The results suggest that women whose partners were deemed to be ‘less attractive’ by trained observers, became less satisfied after they stopped taking the pill; however, it seems that for women with ‘more attractive partners’, it works in reverse – they became more satisfied with their relationship after they stopped using hormonal contraceptives.

Of course, there could be other hormonal factors at work, and further tests have to be conducted before we draw any conclusions – however, many women who have used the contraceptive pill or other hormonal contraceptive will vouch that it has had some kind of effect on them when they quit it. Common side-effects of coming off the pill are: weight gain, an increased sex drive (although some women report the opposite), temporary mood swings and an increased appetite (again, some women find that they lose weight when they stop taking the pill). In addition, some women might notice that their breasts deflate or that their acne returns as soon as they come off the pill.

So, can contraceptives really influence how attractive we find our partner? It’s not remotely far-fetched to think that it can – after all, hormones affect how we think and feel, and in taking the contraceptive pill, we are manipulating the hormone levels in our bodies but further research is still needed. Hormonal contraceptives are still the most reliable form of contraception, so most of us will just have to put up with being a little less or a little more satisfied with them.

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