| 10.4°C Dublin

Women on the Pill don't fancy their men

Sex-hungry women should stay off the Pill when choosing a partner, according to a study.

On the other hand, the contraceptive could benefit those preferring cosiness to passion, the research claimed.

Scientists discovered there were pros and cons to starting a relationship while on the Pill.

Pill users turned out to be less attracted to their partners and less sexually satisfied.

But they were more likely to be happy with "non-sexual" elements of their relationship, such as support shown by their partner. On balance, partnerships that began when the women was on the Pill stood a better chance of staying together.



smell



Study leader Dr Craig Roberts, from the University of Stirling, said: "Our results show some positive and negative consequences of using the Pill when a woman meets her partner.

"Such women may, on average, be less satisfied with the sexual aspects of their relationship, but more so with the non-sexual aspects.

"Overall, women who met their partner on the Pill had longer relationships -- by two years on average -- and were less likely to separate.

The findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, are based on a study of 2,519 women. Just over half were using the Pill when they met their partner. A scoring system was used to gauge their relationships.

Previous research found that using the contraceptive Pill altered women's preference for the way men smell.

Male scent signals, or pheromones, are known to act as markers for immune system genes.

Without the Pill, women tend to be attracted to men whose pheromones indicate they have genes different from their own.

When they are taking the Pill, women's preference switches to men who "smell" genetically similar.

hnews@herald.ie