Image courtesy of Prevention

Ack, hormones. They got us into trouble when we were 16, continue to wreck havoc with our skin, and even manage to frequently convince us that double-chocolate fudge brownies are a sensible snack. Now you can add a new hormonal gripe to the list--they could be making you less-than-attracted to your mate, finds new research.

5 Ways To Be More Romantic

Unless you're married to a Brad Pitt look-a-like, you might find yourself becoming more critical of--and distancing yourself from--your partner during your peak fertility days. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that on the days when women were most likely to conceive, they unconsciously develop a heightened attraction to men with more masculine traits--like muscular bodies and deeper voices--and become less interested in Mr. Nice Guys.

"Women evolved to prefer sexy traits in men because those qualities indicate high-fitness genes," says study author Martie Haselton, PhD. On days when your fertility reaches its peak, your body chemistry drives you to pass those survival genes onto your offspring.

Help For Haywire Hormones

Fortunately, like all things involved with your cycle (cramping misery, anyone?), researchers say this change in mood toward your man is only temporary. Women in the study who were less attracted to their mates on high-fertility days weren't any less committed to their partners. What's more, the key to keeping hormones from wrecking your relationship is about as straightforward as it gets: Just talk about it, says Andra Brosh, PhD, a clinical psychologist specializing in relationships. By simply letting your partner know that there are certain times of the month when you're feeling more critical, you'll be able to get his support instead of having to weather the rough patch alone--or dragging him down with you, she says.

Need some talking tips? Check out these practical, everyday ways for couples to communicate.