Cheating, weariness, disappearance of feelings… The causes of breakups can be numerous. A British study has nevertheless identified the one that could lead to the most in 2023. Here it is.
Why will couples separate in 2023? As the year 2023 has (barely) begun, the British charity Relate surveyed 2,033 adults about their romantic plans for the coming year: 19% of them would already consider ending their relationship and even thought about the prospect of a divorce or separation, with men thinking about it the most (25% versus 19% of women). Despite this, women are nevertheless almost twice as likely to file for divorce as men in heterosexual marriages.
But why ? In 2023, money seems to be at the heart of marital troubles. More than a third of respondents (35%) indicated that inflation and the decline in purchasing power could put additional pressure on their couple in the coming months. The beginning of January is also a risky time for couples, especially when tensions have reached their peak at Christmas and everyone is looking for a fresh start.
“Financial worries are a problem for many couples (…) especially when their household income does not keep pace with the rising cost of living ,” says John Smith, adviser at Relate.
Commit without being ready enough
To cope with rising inflation over the months, some young couples decide to move in together more quickly in order to save rent, bills or even food shopping… at the risk of not being ready for a life together. A sometimes hasty decision that can inevitably lead to ruptures .
Another difficulty: for lack of money or the desire to keep aside, some couples do not plan time apart to consolidate their ties. “It’s important for partners to spend quality time together, but some activities like eating out or weekends come at a cost , “he admits. Difficult then to spend moments with two or without children, allowing to reconnect.
In a couple already in a situation of conflict , the cost of living can also be a factor delaying the decision to separate. The couple will then cohabit for the time that the two people can be financially independent, which can sometimes complicate and make the situation (even more) tense. ” This can be particularly problematic when children are involved, and we know from research that sustained, unresolved parental conflict is more detrimental to children’s emotional health than parental separation , “John Smith continues.
“If you’re having trouble in your relationship, it’s important to talk about it and, ideally, get help as soon as possible ,” the counselor concludes.
Female contraception: a hormone-free gel to replace the contraceptive pill?
Swedish researchers have reportedly developed a new method of contraception without hormones in the form of a gel. Currently in the pre-clinical trial state, this gel is said to be 98% effective and has no side effects.
The contraceptive pill has fewer and fewer followers. Faced with the undesirable effects caused by hormones – weight gain, reduced libido, mood disorders – some decide to turn to other non-hormonal means of contraception , such as the copper IUD . An unthinkable choice for all those with already heavy and painful periods.
In order to offer them a new option, a team of researchers from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden is currently working on the development of a non-hormonal contraceptive gel , the results of pre-clinical trials of which have been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on November 30, 2022.
How does the gel work? It thickens the cervical mucus – a secretion produced by the uterus which serves as a barrier between the vagina and the cervix and which changes according to the menstrual cycle – and thus prevents the passage of spermatozoa into the cervix and fallopian tubes, where the egg is waiting for fertilization. At the same time, it avoids all the side effects of hormonal contraception. It is also a good alternative to spermicides, gels that kill bacteria but can sometimes cause inflammation of the vaginal walls.
For the moment tested on sheep, this vaginal gel would be 98% effective. ” There is a technical challenge behind the manipulation of cervical mucus “, points out Ulrike Schimpf, first author of the study. The pill has an effectiveness ranging from 91 to 99% . Of the eight ewes tested, only one had two sperm in its uterus after artificial insemination of almost a billion sperm.
Natural birth control
The researchers were interested in the contraceptive potential of chitosan , a natural substance that can be found in the shells of crustaceans. ” Chitosan is delivered into the vagina via this gel and interacts with the mucus present in the cervical canal. Once interacted, the [cervical] mucus becomes a better barrier against sperm, preventing their passage into the uterus and fertilization. “, unfair Thomas Crouzier, co-author of the study. ” The idea of reinforcing the mucus with polymers or particles had already been formulated before, but never put into practice in such an effective way “, adds Prof. Schimpf.
The gel could soon be tested on sheep and then on humans, in particular to find out whether the barrier also acts during sexual intercourse. According to Thomas Cruzier, this gel should be ” usable from a few seconds to a few hours ” before intercourse and will be applied via a syringe before intercourse . Effectiveness is estimated at a few hours. ” Then the effect should dissipate due to the natural renewal of the mucus, which should remove the barrier “, adds the researcher.
Even though it is only in the pre-clinical stage, the gel already arouses the pride of its creators. “This is the first proof of a new mechanism of action for a contraceptive in more than 60 years, since the advent of hormonal contraception,” rejoices Professor Schimpf.