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According to the Guttmacher Institute, 27.5% of all U.S. women who use contraceptives choose the birth control pill as their pregnancy-prevention-plan of choice, while another 10% use some sort of hormonal birth control in the form of a patch, inserted device (like an IUD), or an injection.

And while the prevalence of birth control among sexually active women isn’t surprising, one commonly overlooked side effect of hormonal birth control is:

It may be leading women to choose the wrong partners.

 All forms of hormonal birth control work by synthesizing either a combination of the the man-made forms of the hormones estrogen and progesterone (found in brand name pills like Ortho Tri-Cyclen or Yasmin) or the “low-dose” form of birth control that contains progesterone only (like Norethidrone, often given to breastfeeding mothers) in a woman’s body.

Basically, by raising the levels of estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body, either in steady or fluctuating levels, birth control works by “tricking” a woman’s body into thinking she’s pregnant.

When a woman is pregnant, her body will naturally produce higher levels of progesterone and estrogen to you know, grow another human being, but those high levels of hormones also trigger her body to shut down its baby-making production line by stopping ovulation. After all, it doesn’t work in nature’s favor to have a woman who’s already pregnant getting pregnant again.

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Can Birth Control Make You Choose the Wrong Partner?  was originally published on