Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Sex

Font Size

Pill Users Choose 'Wrong' Sex Partners

Women on Birth Control Pill May Be Attracted to 'Wrong' Sex Partner


The result: After taking the pill, women shifted toward preferring genetically similar men. Women who did not take the pill slightly increased their preference for genetically different men.

Why? Roberts notes that when they become pregnant, female animals switch to preferring the scent of genetically similar males. This may allow them to seek out males that will help them protect and raise the baby. Claus Wedekind, PhD, who performed the original T-shirt-sniffing studies, has suggested that birth control pills somehow mimic this process.

The question, of course, is what happens when a woman taking birth control pills marries a man to whom she's attracted -- and then stops taking the pill.

Herz says marriage counselors who have never heard about these studies tell her that the No. 1 complaint among women no longer sexually interested in their husbands is that they can no longer stand how he smells.

"If you can't stand how someone smells, you cannot become intimate," Herz says.

Does this mean the birth control pill is a divorce pill? Herz says it's not that simple.

"A woman's response to a man's natural body odor will be colored by her feelings for him," she says. "So if you fell in love with a man online, it would be hard to be repelled by his smell."

Roberts and colleagues report their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.

(What do you think determined your choice of partner? Talk with others on WebMD's Couples Coping message board.)

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

couple not communicating
How to tell when you're in one.
couple face to face
Get your love life back on track.
couple having an argument
Turn spats into solutions
couple in argument
When to call it quits.
Life Cycle of a Penis
HIV Myth Facts
How Healthy is Your Sex Life
Couple in bed
6 Tips For Teens
Close-up of young man
screening tests for men
HPV Vaccine Future