The Pill Can Make You Less Attracted to Jerks, and Other Surprising Facts About Birth Control – Yahoo Lifestyle

Posted: December 3, 2019 at 7:49 am

This post was added by Alex Diaz-Granados

Youve been on the pill since high school. Its served its purpose of preventing pregnancy, but do you really know what its done beyond that? You might want to pick up a copy of This Is Your Brain on Birth Control, a new book by Sarah E. Hill, PhD. Dr. Hill is a researcher in evolutionary biology as well as a professor at Texas Christian University.

According to Dr. Hill, although women go on the pill for a few reasons (chief among them pregnancy prevention and clearer skin), sex hormones dont work in such isolated ways. Translation: Sex hormones impact the activities of billions of cells in the body at once, many of which are in the brain. That means playing around with your sex hormones via the birth control pill can influence attraction, sexual motivation, stress, hunger, eating patterns, emotion regulation, friendships, aggression, mood, learning and more. This Is Your Brain on Birth Control seeks to make women aware of everything the pill is doing beyond preventing pregnancy and improving skin.

A few things to note: First, Dr. Hillmakes it very clear that shes completely pro-birthcontrol, and even attributes getting her PhDand having children when she was readytobeing on the pill. She doesnt suggest that women stop taking the pill, nor does she refute the revolutionary effect the pill continues to haveonwomens personal and professional lives. Second, Dr. Hill recognizes that while her book (and much of the research on birth control) is focused on heterosexual cisgender women, shes not discounting the experience of other female-identifying folks who arent on the pill. Read on for three surprising ways being on the pill can affect your life.

RELATED: Which Birth Control Is Right for Me? Every Single Method, Explained

One of the most fascinating points in Dr. Hills book is that the pill can impact the type of partner youre attracted to. Scientists have only recently started to explore this possibility. And although this research is new and the results are mixed, the picture that is beginning to emerge is fascinating. They suggest that the birth control pill might influence everything ranging from whom you pick as your partner to the likelihood that youll get divorced. This can manifest in a number of ways, but it may mean that if youve been on the pill for a long time, find a partner, date that partner for a long time and then go off of the pill, you might see them in a different light once your hormones are responsible for regulating themselves.

Because women on the pill dont ovulate, they dont experience the pre-ovulatory estrogen surge that increases attention to markers of genetic quality in men. What does that mean, exactly? While women who arent on the pill experience a spike in their attraction to men with strong jaws, deep voices and other traditional testosterone markers while their estrogen levels are high (typically mid-cycle), women who are on the pill will probably place less emphasis on sex appeal when choosing a partner.

Considerable research finds that women on the pill have lower sexual desire than what is observed in naturally cycling women. Why? The pill suppresses the hormonal cascade that sets in motion the release of a mature egg. Along with that hormonal cascade comes a surge of estrogen thats known to fuel womens desire for sex. The pill can also cause womens levels of testosterone to steeply decline. (Testosterone plays a role in sexual arousal and responsiveness.) Since a lack of sex drive can be a major source of stress in a womans life and relationship, Dr. Hill suggests being gentle with yourself if you find yourself in this situation. Be patient with yourself and your partner as you work together to troubleshoot your birth control options, she writes. The solution might be as simple as finding a new doctor, a new pill or a different form of birth control.

RELATED: We Ask a Derm: How Do I Go Off Birth Control Without Breaking Out?

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The Pill Can Make You Less Attracted to Jerks, and Other Surprising Facts About Birth Control - Yahoo Lifestyle

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