Women’s birth control controls more than birth

IUS Horizon

Typically, when someone thinks of a journalist, they may think of a nosy, slimy person that is always digging into business that is not hers to get the scoop on a story, regardless of whom she takes down to do it.

While some of that may be true — and no, I will not tell you which parts — most of it is not true.

Journalists, although mainly interested in hard-hitting news, can appreciate the softer, “fluffier” side to journalism.

With that said, I can shamelessly admit that occasionally an article in the women’s magazine “Cosmopolitan” sparks thoughts beyond just fashion and naughty advice.

An article by writer Jessica Knoll in the magazine’s most recent issue discusses the effects birth control can have on couples in a relationship.

Basically, according to the article, being on a hormonal birth control method, such as the pill, can deceive a woman into choosing a mate that is not necessarily right for her.

As a matter of fact, the article even suggests a woman should temporarily go off of her birth control  before getting married just to make sure she and her groom-to-be are truly as compatible as they think they are.

Shut. Up.

For all my male readers, I apologize in advance for all of the un-guy friendly facts, but, believe it or not, this affects males as well, especially if you have gotten down on one knee without making it down the aisle just yet.

For a woman not on hormonal birth control, hormone levels naturally fluctuate over the course of the month.

These fluctuations actually slightly change a woman’s taste in men—ranging from preferring the he-man, macho type of guy to the sensitive and caring guy.

Essentially, the pill, shot and patch tricks the body into thinking it is already pregnant by preventing ovulation — the release of the egg — and evening out those natural hormone fluctuations. This also explains why many women gain weight while on such methods of birth control.

In viewing humans as any other animal, instinctively women are attracted to men who are macho, manly men because they appear to possess stronger genes and seem to be the best possible providers for a potential family.

However, because a body on birth control thinks it is already pregnant, many women initially lean toward relationships with men they feel will make good fathers — the caring types — rather than the macho ones.

According to the “Cosmo” article, a recent study surveyed more than 2,500 women with children about their relationship both before and after ceasing their birth control to get pregnant.

Overall, the study found that, for the most part, women reported being generally unsatisfied and not attracted to their male partner after going off their birth control.

It is no secret that the use of birth control is growing in popularity. One might not necessarily think so, though, with the baby-accessorizing fad, we can thank “Teen Mom.”

Actually, according to the Food and Drug Administration, almost 12 million women in the United States currently use hormonal contraceptives.

All of this makes my thought process begin to wander to certain conclusions.

The use of birth control has been steadily increasing over time and now may be negatively affecting the compatibility of young couples.

To me, this directly relates to a different statistic that is on the rise in the U.S.

Currently, the first-time marriage divorce rate in America is 41 percent. That is far too close for comfort to being able to say that we only have a 50/50 shot at getting it right when we decide to tie the knot.

In more recent times, apparently, we have our birth control to thank.

Of course, that is not to say the trickery birth control plays on a woman’s hormones is the only cause of divorce.

If so many of America’s women are taking a medication that makes them think they are attracted to someone when they may not be, and divorce rates are climbing, one can’t deny that the correlation between the two is eyebrow-raising.

I am not saying that every woman reading this should simply drop their birth control— quite the contrary, actually.

As college students and women in general, we owe it to ourselves to protect ourselves from unplanned pregnancies however we feel fit.

Hormonal contraceptives affect women differently and, in many cases, I’m sure their use would not affect a truly strong relationship.

However, as the statistics show, a woman’s judgment about a mate in a drugged state could be completely different than if she were in a natural, contraceptive-free state.

It is just one more of many possibilities to chew on before taking the marital plunge.

After all, who wants to be just another statistic?

By DESIREE SMITH

Newscast Senior Producer

demismit@ius.edu