Friday, March 27, 2009

Swallow this

Here’s a nugget I actually wrote down while waiting to get my hair cut, because the magazine, which I can’t remember the name of, was a new one, and I just didn’t feel right about ripping out the article when I knew many other woman would be leafing through its pages while waiting to get their hair cut, and might find it as intriguing as I did.

It turns out that taking oral contraceptives -- currently used by more than 100 million women worldwide according to Wiki -- may diminish a women’s attraction to genetically compatible mates.

Okay, so what? Well, it turns out, women who ovulate naturally prefer (subconsciously, of course) the scent of a man who has immune system genes that differ from her own, and a pairing of a such a couple is believed to promote fertility, and children with healthy immune systems.

But the pill, the glorious little pill, shifts women’s preferences toward the scent of men whose “MHC genes” are more similar to theirs.

In theory, at least, this could “lead to the breakdown of relationships when women stop using the contraceptive pill, as odor perception plays a significant role in maintaining attraction to partners,” states S Craig Roberts of the Newcastle University in England, who lead the study.

So, just think about this for one little minute, using the pill may actually be one of the causes of both (a) the rise of divorce and (b) the rise of allergies (did you hear that Mr. Peanut?) and other immune system disorders in our children! Who knew?

The solution, of course, is to come up with some non-hormone altering male form of contraception.

9 comments:

peaceableimperatrix said...

Well, thank goodness I first used the diaphragm when dating the Consort, then! Here's something else I just learned, since I recently got back on the Pill: Taking the Pill can give you high blood pressure. Seriously. I was always in the normal range and I am now at dangerous levels. My doctor is giving it another month, but I may have to get off the Pill, because of the high bp. Chew on that!

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

This is an interesting concept. It's making me go hmmmm. So far my being on the pill for twenty years had no affects on me, well, at least none that I know of or that have shown up yet. Certainly did not affect my daughter's immune system, but who knows... maybe it skips a generation. Would make for an interesting study.

DI
The Blue Ridge Gal

Me, You, or Ellie said...

hmmm, maybe this ties in somehow with the science of asparagus pee.

I have to say, I've been staring at that comic for a while now... and I don't get it!

j

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Well, j, it looks like a large nail to me, which would be rather piercing for the testicles, no? It would likely be quick though :-)

beth

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I thought it was a test tube

Me, You, or Ellie said...

I'm going with nail, because test tube just doesn't work with this blog post....

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Ha, a nail it is, then.

So let me ask you this: What happens when the woman on the pill wears RED???

Ellie

Rita.the.bookworm said...

I thought the joke in the comic strip was that it was so effective that it caused the end of the dinosaurs?

It is interesting, Beth. And, after my experiences with the Mirena, I am a lot more wary of hormone-based birth control in general. I haven't been able to take the pill for years due to increased stroke risk factors, but there's so much that people take for granted when they take those little pills, or use any body-chemistry altering form of contraceptive.

Dorothea said...

I thought the comic meant that a cheap contraceptive for men has been around since the dinosaurs but we didn't know about it b/c men didn't want to be the ones taking it :-)

Up side to not being on the pill when everyone else was is that I met my husband with the proper hormone attraction.

Down side is going to the OB/GYN 3 mo into the marriage to get on the pill and finding out I was 4 weeks pregnant...life's funny that way and it all worked out (we're just entering the teenage years so I may change my perspective)