A joint study conducted by researchers at UK, Scotland and the Czech Republic has found that women who start taking contraceptive pills after entering into a relationship experience lower sexual satisfaction, though the pills have no effect if she meets a partner while already having started taking the pill.
The researchers observed 365 couples in long term relationships and recorded how satisfied, both sexual and non sexual, they were in their relationships. This was then compared with their historical and current use of hormonal contraception. The researchers found that starting or stopping the pills when in a relationship lowered sexual satisfaction, though not non sexual satisfaction, compared to starting on the pill prior to entering a relationship or simply not having used the pill at all.
"Previous research has shown that hormonal contraceptives, such as the pill, subtly alter women's ideal partner preferences and that often women who are using the pill when they meet their partner find the same partner less physically attractive when they come off the pill. Our new results support these earlier findings but, crucially, they also point to the impact a change in hormonal contraceptive use during a relationship ― either starting or stopping ― can have on a woman's sexual satisfaction with her partner", lead researcher Craig Roberts said.
The study has been published in the journal Psychological Science.