Using the birth control pill has become as much a part of a long-term, committed romantic relationship as date nights and trips to IKEA. We’ve come to assume that using the Pill means responsible future-planning for careers and children, in the right order, and a worry-free, spontaneous sex life. But what if the Pill could actually be holding us back from finding a fulfilling love life?
For hormonally-sensitive woman like myself and those who deal with hormonal imbalance issues as I have in the past, it’s not a good medical treatment for symptoms such as acne or PCOS as when you eventually come off nothing will have changed, and some things may have even gotten worse. I don’t even like the Pill as the only form of contraception, if I’m honest, because I think women should consider continuing to use condoms in a committed relationship and develop a sense of cycle-tracking and awareness.
We may hear about some of the side effects of the birth control pill like dangerous blood clots or weight gain, but many of us are not told of the full consequences of switching off our body’s natural hormones and replacing them with a stream of their synthetic equivalent. Hormones help us to interact with the world, impact how we perceive other people and how they perceive us. There are a plethora of studies that suggest women using the Pill will find almost every single element of their love life is impacted by that choice on a fundamental, biochemical level.
Here are just 5 of the ways that the Pill might be messing with your love life
- You Like the Smell of the Wrong Guys. Multiple studies have shown that the Pill disrupts your pheromones (which are ectohormones, they act outside of the body rather than inside). Pheromones create our own personal perfume and we use this scent to match up with a mate that’s genetically suitable. We are supposed to be attracted with men who are genetically dissimilar to ourselves, as a consequence lowering the chance of miscarriage, increasing the likelihood of having a healthy baby, as well as making for more satisfying sex and a happier relationship. If you’re on the Pill, you don’t seek out this ideal man, instead you seek out men who “smell” like you – which makes for a bad romantic and health match.
- You Become Less Attractive. Women who use the Pill do not secrete copulins, which are pheromones specific to the vagina that draw sexual interest from men. Copulin production is cyclical, developing to increase production when you’re at your most fertile – during the ovulatory phase. As the Pill prevents ovulation, you never experience this peak. Several studies have shown men find women who are using the Pill less attractive than those who are not using the Pill and experiencing their own natural cycles. If you’re dating, being on the Pill could be coming between you and your perfect person.
- It Gives You Man-Goggles. 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. This makes sense – your primordial instincts have been thrown off, meaning you matched with a Mr Wrong. One study found that unless your mate is objectively very good-looking, you may then find them unattractive. Another study discovered that women on the Pill will choose more feminine-featured men than those not on the Pill, who go for a more masculine type, which goes some way to explaining the change of perspective. Once off the Pill, you may find your priorities and desires have changed within a longterm relationship.
- It Can Permanently Suppress Your Sex Drive. Naturally women’s sex drive should peak around ovulation, but the Pill prevents this from happening. Not only that, but the synthetic hormone mix destroys your testosterone reserves, which, along with a holistically balance hormonal system, is a key to your sexual desire and enjoyment. Studies have shown the Pill can even lower your ability to orgasm and make orgasms less intense. The Pill is also linked to increased urinary tract infections and yeast infections, which we all know to be sex-Kryptonite. If you’re suffering with low libido right now, coming off the Pill might be step one, but step two could be making some diet and lifestyle changes to boost your drive.
- It Can Make Your Mood Swings Worse. The Pill has been linked to depression and anxiety, particularly in those women who may have a history of these mental health issues. Many women are put on the Pill for what’s actually a bad case of PMS (which can be completely cured naturally), only to find that it makes their mood swings worse. For some, the mood changes manifest themselves as a bad case of the “blahs” (otherwise known as anhedonia). Women are supposed to feel a range of emotions throughout their natural cycle, but being in touch with the ebbs and flows of your feelings can actually enhance your relationship (http://www.floliving.com/relationship/). The Pill suppresses these ebbs and flows and that has different consequences for different women. However, it’s obvious that feeling low or anxious as a result of the Pill is going to impact your relationship satisfaction and cause friction.
All of that AND it doesn’t correct the root causes of why your period might be messed up in the first place.
If this information is making you question using the birth control pill for contraception or as a medical treatment, follow my protocol to make the transition into your Flo (https://www.floliving.com/quit-pill-without-getting-symptoms-back/). If you’re using the Pill, you can start this protocol now to ensure the switch is smooth and that you avoid seeing the return of any prior symptoms. I have supported many women in coming off the Pill and helped them reconnect with their bodies (https://www.floliving.com/how-to-transition-off-the-birth-control-pill/) and I’d love to support you in this too!
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you take the birth control pill?
Second, what are your past experiences with birth control?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
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