The time of menopausevaries among women. As you reach close to it, your periods become increasingly unpredictable and irregular. Usually, your natural fertility chance will start dropping after 37. But you still need to take contraceptive measures to avoid unplanned pregnancy. Most women are no more fertile by the age of 55 years. Yet, a few of them are likely to have periods at that age, therefore, may require contraception. As far as the UK is concerned, the average age for women to reach menopause is 51 years.
A renowned female gynaecologist in London suggests that the answer depends on the kind of contraception you use. If it does not contain any hormones and your age is over 50, then you can stop using it a year after your menstruation stops. If you’re under 50, then you should continue with the contraception two years post your final period.
In case of hormone-based contraceptives, withdrawal bleeding or periods are not reliable to know your fertility status. This type of contraceptives is likely to lead you to irregular bleeding or noperiods and yet you can remain fertile and conceive naturally.
There’re again different age bars for different types of hormone-based contraceptives. For example, you can safely use progestogen-only implants, progestogen-only pills, copper intrauterine devices and Levonorgestrel intrauterine systems until you’re 55.This way, you can also avoid heavy menstrual bleeding and pain along with ensuring endometrial protection.
When you’ve entered into the perimenopause phase, you should not stop taking birth-control precautions based on FSH, isolated serum Estradiol and luteinising hormone levels because they’re often found to be misleading.
If you’re above 40 years, you should choose a contraception based on certain factors, like:
As a matter of fact, when you’re above 40, you have the same old options that you had in your younger days. However, their priorities may change. These include pills, hormones, patches and rings.
Combined oral contraception pills or COC pills: COC pills offer some undeniable advantages to not-so-young women. The pills minimise their problems of heavy and irregular periods to some extent or the other, especially when they are about to reach menopause. The pills also facilitate their increasing bone density, making the bones stronger and less prone to fracture. The pills don’t cause any unwanted side-effect and are safe to consume for women above 40.
However, experts on sexual and reproductive health believe that you should avoid these pills under certain conditions. It’s better to avoid the pills if you’re above 35 and
Your doctor is the best person to guide you on this based on your medical condition and history. Normal women, who don’t suffer from any of the complications mentioned above, can take the pills until the age of 50. When you’re above 50, you should stop the pills and switch over to some different contraceptive option altogether.
Porgestogen-only pills: These are also known as POP pills or “the mini pills”. This is usually prescribed to women for whom COC pills are unsuitable. These aremore used by breastfeeding women and those above 35 with smoking or migraine problems. POP is safe and reliable even for those, who have developed a clot, stroke or heart attack in the past. Moreover, Progestogen-only pills often don’t subscribe to youavoiding the chances of developing breast cancer. You can continue with this birth-control measure till you’re 55.
Apart from COC and POP pills, there’re lots of effective contraception methods available. We’ll discuss those alternatives in the future. Keep watching this space for further updates.
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