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Birth Control Stinks

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When picking a good mate, birth control might make you lose control says a new study.

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We women have great noses--we can smell a poopy diaper at 100 paces and when it comes to sniffing out a mate we tend to favor very particular body odors-- usually someone who smells vastly different than we do. That musky smell we call men.  The birth control pill, says a new study, might actually tamper with our ability to decipher a manly aroma that is genetically compatible. And we thought only "beer goggles" was responsible for our bad choices.

For the study, researchers at the University of Liverpool recruited 110 women between the ages of 18 and 35. They had each volunteer rate the odors of six men, using T-shirts that the men had worn overnight (that's 110 brave women). Then they compared the women's before- and after-pill ratings of the odors to those of 60 women who did not use oral contraceptives. Turns out women who were on the pill tended to prefer the men who were genetically similar and therefore not as compatible.

So what does this mean? Should women looking for the perfect mate abandon the pill for another method of birth control? OB/GYN and momlogic contributor Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz responds with an  "Unequivocal NO!" "Unless," says Gilberg-Lenz, "you are looking for a mate based on test tubes full of male B.O.--in which case we REALLY need to talk about your approach to dating. The study is really small, which means it is hardly representative of a large cross-section of the population, and while it does offer an interesting glimpse into the potential biochemical origins of mating, I hardly think a change of contraception would be warranted by this study's results."  Whew--for women who rely soley on the pill--that's sweet-smelling news.

Read more love and sex stories.


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