Tag Archives: Combined oral contraceptive pill

Sweaty armpits and BO crimes against humanity

What’s that smell? Amazingly, as soon as we smell something stinky, our first reaction is to take a deeper whiff!  And that’s just what I did! Standing in the isle of my local grocery store, breathing in deeply while taking a quick look around to try to pinpoint the source of the stench.

My brain is working at 6000 revs per minute to solve the odour crime against humanity.  An internal dialogue takes place in literally one-tenth of a second.

“Is the stench a silent but deadly fart?”
“No …”

Stinky feet?”
“Nobody has their shoes off …”

“Smelly perfume?”
“Hmmmm, close …”

“Body odour?”


verschiedene Deodorants

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The culprit is a young man standing behind me in the isle gazing forlornly at the neatly stacked cans of deodorant.  Clearly he’s come to the right section, but golly gosh, why did he leave it for so long? The body odour (BO) is so bad that my eyes are actually watering!

Once I’ve grabbed my husband and the trolley and dart around the corner, I instantly feel guilty. Some people do have a problem with excessive sweating and body odour. In fact, I myself have been experiencing some … er … problems in the armpit arena (blush).

My sweaty tale of woe started when I went off the contraceptive pill last year. I had been on the pill, without a break, since I was 17.  However, with plans to prepare my body to start a family, I decided to go off the pill at the ripe age of 34.

Little did I know what horrors were awaiting me.  Besides developing an oily skin with pimple breakouts that is reminiscence of my teens, the worst was the change in my natural body scent. Suddenly my deodorants, roll-ons and perfumes didn’t smell so kosher.  I was definitely perspiring a lot more too. I was mortified. I had never, never had a problem with how I smelt and yet, there I was, an honorary member of the BO Offenders.

One year has passed, and truthfully I’m still battling to find a suitable antiperspirant. I’ve found one deodorant that seems to work better than the rest and thankfully, any armpit aromas are limited to one week a month, which is linked to when I am ovulating.

Over and above carrying my trusty deo can in my handbag, Ive done a little research on the subject of BO due to hormonal changes.  Apparently supplements such as a combination of Vitamin B and Magnesium, or Zinc and Magnesium, may just help my little problem. The article I read also suggested Chlorophyll tablets. As an added precaution, I need to curb my soaring coffee intake as caffeine is an alleged BO accomplice.

Maybe I should’ve passed this good advice onto that poor young man in the grocery store?   Somehow though, I dont think hormones are the cause of his troubles.  Im sure a good bath and a strong antiperspirant will easily solve his problem.


The smell of desire: fact or fiction?

Goose bumps provoked by a fresh breeze. Photo ...

“His very smell gives me goose bumps and turns my brain to mush.”

The topic of pheromones and how they affect physical attraction has interested me for a long time. For example, I once dated a guy whose hobbit-like body odour turned me on completely. For some reason I was intensely attracted to him even though it defied all logic. That’s what I’m talking about – pure primal attraction! The kind of attraction we sometimes don’t understand and often cannot rationalise.

Although some people aren’t as smell sensitive as others, “scientists have found repeatedly that the less a person smells like you (as far as natural body odours go), the more attractive – or rather, the less repulsive – you find their armpit aromas”. This is according to ‘Scientific American’ (Armpit Psychology: The science of body odour perception).

If I think of my husband, I confess that I find his scent in the morning intoxicating – I just want to drink him in. He actually admitted something along the same lines to me too. Every morning when I roll out of bed, he always moves over to my side of the bed. I initially thought it was because he prefers my pillow to his (which he does!). However, the real reason is that he apparently likes the scent I leave behind on my pillow.

In an article ‘Scent of a woman’, Rachel Herz Ph.D. says that “women rank how a man smells as the number one determinant for whether she’ll be sexually attracted to him. Moreover, what men each woman finds most sexy smelling varies widely and is tied to immune system genetics”.

She goes on to refer to research that shows how “naturally cycling women prefer the body-odour of men whose immune system genes are relatively different from their own”. It is seemingly nature’s process to help a woman select a male partner that she is compatible with in terms of fertility and reproduction. Why is this important you ask? Simply put: because it ensures the reproduction of genetically strong offspring.

Oral contraceptive

Note the research refers to “naturally cycling women” and not the over 100 million women worldwide who take the oral contraceptive pill. The pill alters a woman’s hormones and apparently this has an impact on the type of man she would be attracted to. Think about it: if a woman who is not on any hormone altering medication or treatments is drawn to a man who has a genetic composition different to hers, then wouldn’t it be correct to say that the opposite would be true of a woman who is on the contraceptive pill? Wouldn’t she then be attracted to a man who has a similar genetic profile to hers? This poses a further question: if by taking the birth control pill, are we not contributing to a genetically weak lineage?

The moral of the story for women: ditch the contraceptive pill when choosing a lifelong mate and rather revert to other methods of safe sex if you can’t abstain (wink wink).

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