A woman’s sexual satisfaction may be influenced by her historical use of the pill, suggest the results of a new study.
According to research carried out jointly by universities in the UK, Scotland and the Czech Republic, women who were on the pill when they met their partner and continued to use it reported greater levels of sexual satisfaction, compared to women who had started or stopped using the pill over the course of the relationship.
Women who had never used the pill at any point also reported being more sexually satisfied, researchers said.
Published in the journal Psychological Science, the study looked at the connection between contraceptive use and sexual satisfaction among women in long-term, heterosexual relationships.
“Previous research has shown that hormonal contraceptives, such as the pill, subtly alter women’s ideal partner preferences and that often women who are using the pill when they meet their partner find the same partner less physically attractive when they come off the pill,” said study lead author Craig Roberts from the University of Stirling in Scotland.
“Our new results support these earlier findings but, crucially, they also point to the impact a change in hormonal contraceptive use during a relationship — either starting or stopping — can have on a woman’s sexual satisfaction with her partner.”
The latest findings build on previous research published by Roberts in 2011, which found that women on the pill tend to choose men who are less attractive and worse in bed when it comes to long-term partners, compared to women who were pill-free.
Roberts theorizes that the hormone-altering pill skews a woman’s perception of chemistry when she makes her mating choice.
The upside? Women on the pill who engaged in long-term relationships that were less sexually satisfying had longer relationships and were less likely to separate.