The Pill and Scent

Article here

I’ve seen a few articles recently about women on the Pill picking the ‘wrong’ men as partners - men with similar MHC molecules. This increases miscarriage risk, leads to difficulty conceiving and produces children with weaker immune systems.

Along with that, when women stop taking the Pill, their partners smell differently and become less attractive.

This study had a pretty small sample, but it could be important if the results hold for the population at large.

So ladies, have any of you started/stopped taking the Pill and noticed a change in the way your (male) partner smells or how attracted you were? If so, was it a big deal?

Personally, I’m on the Pill and interested in finding a relationship. I’m curious if this is worth paying attention to.

Women tend to identify men with suitable MHC molecules? Seriously? So…what about all the men with unsuitable MHC molecules? What are they still doing there? Is no one dating them?

Er, no. Suitable here means genetically different from one’s own MHC molecules. So the ‘unsuitable’ men would presumably be a better match to some other woman.

It isn’t that they are unsuitable, but that people tend to pair up with others who have different MHC molecules than they do. I highly recommend the Evolution series by NOVA–it is a wonderful series and during the documentary they did an experiment with men who slept in the same tshirt for a few days and put them in bags and then women had to rate the men and their attractiveness based on smell alone. They found that the women consistently picked men whose immune systems and other genetic make up was different than their own as the most attractive.

Personally, I met my boyfriend and went on the pill later and I haven’t noticed a change in his scent. He is also a diabetic though, so that kinda makes his natural scent a little different. He doesn’t smell bad but I don’t have this deep need to smell him while he sleeps or anything. (Yes, I’ve felt that urge with men before. No, I didn’t smell them in their sleep. Shut up. :))

I didn’t go on the pill until a few months after the Superhero and I got together and he smelled equally good afterward. In our 7 years together I had a 1.5 year stint of not being on the pill, and he smelled like the right person for me to be with before, during, and after that time. In fact, though it may sound a little weird, it was partly his smell when we first met that made me know he was a keeper.

I don’t know, this scent stuff seems kind of strange to me. I’ve never really noticed how any of my partners smelled. And if I had to rate the way t-shirts smelled…ewwww. I just like people who don’t smell like anything. Is that uncommon?

I definitely know if I like a guy’s smell or not. That fresh sweat smell? Mmm…

My husband’s a clown. He smells funny. ahem.

Been on and off the Pill for the whole five years I’ve been married to my husband. He’s always had the same level of attractiveness to me. My libido takes some hits when my hormones rise and fall due to Pill use/coming off of it, but I’ve always found my husband dead sexy, even if I wasn’t in the mood for anything more erotic than eyebrow wiggling.

So, nope, I haven’t noticed any difference. While I’m certain the smell difference is a bit more subtle and nuanced than “Today you smell like garbage” or “Today you smell like you should rip my bodice” (unless he just took the garbage out or he just stepped out of the shower wearing my favourite cologne) - either way, I haven’t noticed any dramatic change in the way I regard him over the years. Unless loving him more every day countsAWAWWWWWW! :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve noticed that the “today you smell like you should rip my bodice” days tend to happen more often on the lowest dose to no dose days of my pill regimen, but I think a good part of that just has to do with the fact that my body isn’t being informed that I’m “pregnant” during that time period and wants to take advantage of the opportunity. I also noticed that, during the time periods when we were using non-chemical BC methods, I was more, [sub]er[/sub], responsive to his scent than I am now. If this thread is still active, I’ll report back with my findings once I switch to non-chemical methods next month.