The Surprising Way Your BC Could Affect Your Relationship

Illustrated by Ly Ngo.
Sure, hormonal birth control can be an excellent thing for many reasons (including the obvious). But, new research suggests you may have your birth control to thank for how satisfied you are with your partner.
The study, published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at how 118 heterosexual newlywed couples' perceptions of their relationships changed over time. In the first longitudinal experiment, the wives reported on their use of hormonal birth control and how satisfied they were in their marriages; they made a report every six months, for four years. In the second experiment, the wives told whether or not they were using birth control when they met the men they married, and also chronicled their subsequent birth control use. Meanwhile, "independent observers" objectively rated the attractiveness of all the husbands' faces.
Taking data from both studies, the researchers found that women's relationship satisfaction changed in some pretty intriguing ways when they went off hormonal birth control. Those who a) were married to men considered to be objectively attractive and b) were taking the pill when they met their future spouse reported higher levels of satisfaction when going off birth control. But, those who were married to the less-attractive men reported lower satisfaction when ditching the pills. So, can birth control fool you into being attracted to a certain type of person? We'll have to keep an eye on how the pill/partner connection develops.

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