|Women on the pill are less satisfied with the sexual aspects of their relationships, according to a study out of the University of Sterling in Scotland. (Shutterstock)
The good news is a woman who takes birth control pills is more likely to have a loving and long-lasting relationship. The bad news is that relationship is likely to be with someone who is unattractive and bad in bed.
At least, that's what a new study out of the University of Sterling in Scotland suggests. Researchers there were trying to figure out whether oral contraceptives affect a woman's choice in partners.
"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 non-sexual aspects," said Craig Roberts, lead author of the study.
"Overall, women who met their partner on the pill had longer relationships - by two years on average - and were less likely to separate. So there is both good news and bad news for women who meet while on the pill. One effect seems to compensate for the other."
Roberts' previous research found that women on the pill are more attracted to genetically similar men, whereas women not on the pill prefer men who are different from them.
He theorizes that's because the hormones in birth control alter a woman's hormonal levels to reflect the non-fertile phases of the menstrual cycle.
When women are non-fertile, Roberts says, they subconsciously seek out a partner with long-term benefits.
"Women tend to find genetically dissimilar men attractive because resulting babies will more likely be healthy," he said.
"Similarly, women's preferences subconsciously change over time so that during non-fertile stages of the menstrual cycle they are more attracted to men who appear more caring and reliable -- good dads."