For years scientists have argued that much of what makes two people attracted to each other can be chalked up to chemistry. But new research suggests birth contraceptive can disrupt the chemical signals women that make them attractive to men.

According to The Wall Street Journal:

The type of man a woman is drawn to is known to change during her monthly cycle—when a woman is fertile, for instance, she might look for a man with more masculine features. Taking the pill or another type of hormonal contraceptive upends this natural dynamic, making less-masculine men seem more attractive, according to a small but growing body of evidence. The findings have led researchers to wonder about the implications for partner choice, relationship quality and even the health of the children produced by these partnerships.

Scientists say they have found that the natural chemical signals that women emit when they are ovulating and fertile are “wiped out” when she is on a contraceptive.

Women on the pill no longer experience a greater desire for traditionally masculine men during ovulation. Their preference for partners who carry different immunities than they do also disappears. And men no longer exhibit shifting interest for women based on their menstrual cycle, perhaps because those cues signaling ovulation are no longer present, scientists say.


With over 92 million prescriptive for birth control filled in the U.S. last year alone, some say the newest findings may discourage women from staying on the pill. But researchers say that they aren’t trying to discourage women from taking birth control pills. Rather, they just want them to see the whole picture. Alexandra Alvergne, a researcher in biological anthropology at University College London in the U.K. says:

“We just want to know what we’re doing…if there is a risk it affects our romantic life and the health status of our children, we want to know.”

What are your thoughts on birth control as a chemistry blocker? Do you think being on the pill can make a woman seem less attractive to her potential mate?

Tell us what you think Clutchettes- share your thoughts!

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  • Diana

    I completely agree with this. When I met my last boyfriend, I was not on any type of birth control. He was in love with me. After dating for several months, I went on BC, and noticeably his interest in me dropped a little. I never thought about it much until this year when a friend of mine who is on the FAM method was talking about all this hormonal stuff. Whereas before guys would hit on me more during ovulation, now basically no one does. I am no longer with my boyfriend and since there is urgent need to use BC, I was thinking about going off of it, and using the FAM method to avoid any pregnancy.
    Of course, this is all my perception of things that happend in hindsight, but I think I’m correct that if you are off BC, guys will find you more attractive either because of your scent or just because you will act more overtly flirty. I will keep you posted to let you know if it turns out as expected.

    • Because

      Researchers are just now starting to study this. One recent study was of strippers and how much they make in tips throughout their cycles. The results were unbelievable – an average $350 per shift during ovulation compared to an average of $200 per shift for women who were either on the pill or women who were not ovulating. It needs further study, but it’s interesting.

      Birth control pills do alter things in our body whether we want to admit it or not. My doctor was recently telling me that birth control pills have a drying effect on the skin and eyes. I’m sure there are many other things it effects too – sex drive, appetite, sense of smell – all things that need to be studied further. Hormones kind of rule the body in many ways.

  • Candi

    Hi, I believe this to be true only because of personal experience. I was on birth control for 10 years straight, and I am 25 years old now. I got off of it about 6 months ago because me and my husband are trying to conceive. Well, after a few months I noticed that my husband would really REALLY “want me bad”:) on and off. It wasn’t until he mentioned that he really craves sex with me during ovulation AND before i am about to start my period. It was crazy because coming off of birth control i would not know when i was ovulating or starting my period until it happened and putting two and two together I was like wow that is crazy. If you truly think about how scientific our cycles are, like clockwork, it is amazing. I believe every word of this.