Forty is a milestone birthday after which a woman may be faced with saving for retirement while also investing in her children's college funds. If you have celebrated this birthday, you may be thinking more about how to manage the years leading up to menopause than how to prevent pregnancy. However, this aspect of your reproductive health remains in full swing well into your forties and beyond, depending on when your body goes through menopause.
In a survey of 55 women with an approximate age of 72, only 55 percent reported discussing sex with their physician after they had turned forty. If there is no discussion of sex, then there is not likely discussion of contraception either. This may shed light on another somewhat alarming statistic: 38 percent of pregnancies in women forty and older are unplanned.
If you are over forty and do not want to become pregnant at this time in your life, you benefit from discussing contraception methods with your Katy OBGYN, Dr. Taryll Jenkins.
At this point in your life, chances are you have used at least one of the common methods of birth control. What you choose now depends on several factors, including whether you want to have children in the future. If the answer is yes, or even a "maybe," then you want a method that is not permanent, such as:
- Oral contraception. This method may be safely used until age 50 as long as you have no history of cardiovascular disease, have normal blood pressure, and do not smoke.
- Contraceptive patches or rings. Like oral contraceptives, these methods are also estrogen-based. The benefit lies in not having to remember to take a pill every day.
- Implants and IUDs. These methods deliver steady doses of progesterone to inhibit pregnancy. They remain in place until removed by a physician and can provide protection for years.
- The copper IUD is an option for the woman who prefers a long-term, non-hormonal method of birth control. While barrier methods do not contain hormones, they present certain challenges that may make them unappealing.
Birth control is an important topic of discussion that relates to all women who menstruate. When you visit our friendly, experienced team, you can discover the option that will best suit you in your current phase of life. Call 855-346-8610 to schedule your visit.