Hormonal Methods

Hormonal Contraception After Age 40

Is it risky or maybe effective for women over 40 to utilize hormonal birth control? Dr. Andrew Kaunitz presents the following case vignette at a published article in the New England Journal of Medicine:

“A healthful, lean 46-year-old girl who’s a nonsmoker requests information about contraception. She notes that her menstrual periods are less routine than previously, and she also reports intermittent bothersome hot flashes.

She’s in a new relationship after a divorce, and she’s sexually active. She asks if she can start to use an oral contraceptive. What would you advise?”

Birth Control Options for Women Over 40

If you are a woman age 40 or older, then listen up! It’s been shown that your available birth control options have expanded. No longer are the options somewhat confined to condoms, diaphragms, and tubal ligation.

Dr. Kaunitz, a part of this Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Florida College of Medicine, published research in the March 20, 2008 volume of the New England Journal of Medicine that examines women’s use of hormonal contraception after age 40. Dr. Kaunitz clarifies that since the estrogen found in many of the combination birth control pills has been radically decreased, the pill is currently considered a safe choice for slim, healthy women over age 40.

Other Advantages of Hormonal Contraception for Women Over Age 40

Dr. Kaunitz further points out that many girls may favor the pill because it can:

  • Reduce intermittent menstrual bleeding
  • Help control hot flashes
  • Help reduce hip fractures
  • Reduce the risk of ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancer

Risk of Dangerous Blood Clots

Remember, though, the probability of dangerous blood clots does sharply grow at age 40 for women who use estrogen-containing birth control pills, with an estimated incidence of more than 100 cases per 100,000 people (as compared to 25 cases per 100,000 persons of adolescent age).

Additionally, the risk of venous thromboembolism is almost two times as high among obese girls as it is among nonobese women using oral contraceptives.

If you’re a 40-plus-year-old girl who is fat, smoke cigarettes, have migraines headaches, high blood pressure, or diabetes, Dr. Kaunitz’s study implies that the risk factors associated with combination birth control usage are considered to outweigh the advantages. But, there’s still very good news. Women over 40 with these risk factors may nonetheless be excellent candidates for the ParaGard IUD, or for progestin-only contraception choices.

Use of Birth Control in Women Age 40 and Older

Hormonal contraception has recently been a necessity for its 40-something inhabitants — given that lots of women are opting to put off child-rearing until a later period, therefore sterilization, like having one’s tubes attached, may simply not be a fantastic option. Interestingly, statistics reveal that 40-plus aged women are the least likely to use birth control, yet (along with adolescents ), these elderly women have the maximum abortion prices. However, Dr. Kaunitz reports that 40-plus women of reproductive age using contraception are”more likely to use contraceptives correctly and consistently than younger girls.

Accordingly, girls in this age category have lower rates of contraceptive failure than do younger girls.”

The growth of 40 plus women’s contraceptive options will find lots of women happily enjoying satisfying sexual relationships without the need to be worried about becoming pregnant.

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