Benefits Of Hormonal Contraceptives
For some women, continuing with the same method they’ve always used may be a reasonable option. It may even offer health benefits.
In the past, it was commonly believed that birth control options for women over 40 were limited to non-hormonal methods such as condoms, diaphragms, and even tubal ligation. Those views have changed considerably.
Today, research has shown that the benefits of oral contraceptives outweigh the risks and that combination birth control pills are safe for most healthy women over 40.
In addition to preventing pregnancy, oral contraceptives can help:
- Reduce irregular bleeding during perimenopause
- Control hot flashes and other symptoms of perimenopause
- Reduce the risk of hip fracture in older women
When To Stop Contraception
Contraception should be continued for at least one year after your last menstrual period if this was after the age of 50, and for two years if your periods stop before the age of 50. This is because sometimes periods may restart even after several months with no bleeding. Otherwise contraception can be stopped at the age of 55, even if you are still having occasional periods, as the risk of pregnancy at this age is extremely low.
However, if you are using progestogen-only hormonal contraception you may well have only occasional periods or no periods at all, thus making it difficult to tell if you are menopausal. With the exception of the injection, progestogen-only methods can be safely used until the age of 55 years. Your healthcare provider may recommend a blood test which would give some guidance as to how much longer you need to continue the method.
If using combined hormonal contraception you will experience regular periods or withdrawal bleeds which mask one of the signs of the menopause. Blood tests are not reliable and not recommended if you are using combined hormonal methods, which should be stopped at the age of 50, switching to an alternative non-hormonal or progestogen-only method.
How Can Perimenopausal Women Benefit From Low
Low-dose birth control can be implemented both to prevent pregnancy and alleviate symptoms of perimenopause. Although low dose birth control is typically not recommended for individuals under the age of 30 because it can decrease bone density, it may have the opposite effect for those going through perimenopause. This is especially important, as the risk of osteoporosis increases with age. Low dose birth control may also be implemented to help prevent ovarian and uterine cancers.
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Eat All Your Meals Every Day:
If you eat irregularly during menopause, you could worsen your symptoms of menopause, which could also hamper the hard work you put into weight loss. The mood swings that you experience due to hormone fluctuations are caused by low blood sugar. So, it pays to eat your meals regularly. By clocking low blood sugar, you will experience a whole range of problems like mood swings, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, mental fog and aggressiveness. These symptoms lead to sweating, overeating, trembling and depression. To steer away from these problems, eat your meals regularly.
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How Do I Stay Healthy After Menopause
It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially as you age and your risk for certain medical conditions increases. Some ways for people in postmenopause to stay healthy include:
- Exercising regularly. Walking, doing yoga or strength training can help lower your risk for many medical conditions.
- Weight-bearing exercises can strengthen your bones and muscles.
- Eating a healthy diet. Foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains should make up the bulk of your diet. Avoid lots of salt or sugar and limit your consumption of alcohol.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Going through menopause can be uncomfortable and present new challenges and health concerns. Speak with your healthcare provider about any symptoms you feel or questions you have. They can help make sure you are supported through this time and get the care you need.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/05/2021.
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Besides Hormone Replacement Therapy How Can I Treat Hot Flashes
While HRT relieves hot flashes for many women, there are other drug treatments that may offer relief. These include both over-the-counter and prescription therapies you may recognize for their more common medical uses. Over-the-counter therapies include various vitamins, ibuprofen products, and soy protein found in foods.
Prescription treatments include:
- Brisdelle, a paroxetine formula specifically for hot flashes
- Duavee, a conjugated estrogens/bazedoxifene formula designed to treat hot flashes
What Can I Do To Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis isnt entirely preventable, but you can take steps to strengthen your bones. Eating foods high in calcium like cheese, yogurt, spinach or fortified cereals can help boost calcium intake. Adding a calcium supplement can also help. Some people also need a vitamin D supplement because it helps their body absorb calcium.
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Schedule Your Next Visit At Our Womens Wellness Office In South Florida
What is something new you learned through this article? Comment below to let us know!
When youre looking for a comfortable environment that tends to your personal and intimate care, request an appointment at our office. We offer a holistic approach to your gynecological care, including yoga, meditation, relaxation, and exercise techniques. Pelvic exams and pap smears may not be the most comfortable, but when youre surrounded by a team whose only goal is your optimal health, you can rest easy knowing youre doing your best to care for yourself and your body.
Contraception For The Older Woman
Many women are aware that their fertility declines from their mid 30s and think they can stop using contraception once they are in their 40s. They wrongly assume because their fertility is lower, they have less sex and their periods may have become irregular that contraception can be abandoned. However, women do still get pregnant in their late 40s and even into their 50s , so contraception should continue to be used every time they have sex if pregnancy is to be avoided. Contraception should be continued until menopause, which is defined as two years after the last natural menstrual period in women under age 50 and until one year after the last natural menstrual period in women over age 50. If menopause cannot be confirmed, contraception should be continued until age 55.
An unplanned pregnancy at any age can pose problems, but particularly so for a woman in her 40s who may be beginning to enjoy more freedom as children grow up. Furthermore, a pregnancy in older women is often associated with an increased number of complications such as miscarriage, high blood pressure, diabetes and chromosomal problems with the baby, and consequently will need more careful monitoring.
In recent years there have been many advances in contraception, and new methods may have additional health benefits as well as providing excellent contraception. Womens needs change as they get older and a method that may not have been ideal when she was younger may become much more suitable.
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Birth Control Pills And Symptoms Of Menopause
Women reach menopause about a year aftertheir menstruation has stopped. The symptoms of menopause are often irregularperiods, problems sleeping and hot flashes. The reason why the issue of birthcontrol delaying menopause can seem complicated is because some birth controlcan mask the symptoms associated with menopause. However, changes may also be anatural occurrence of hormonal fluctuation.
Do You Still Need Your Gynecologist After Menopause
If youve reached the point where youre typing gynecologist for seniors near me into your preferred search engine, you probably have a couple of other questions too.
Do I need to see a gynecologist after menopause? At what age do you stop going to the gynecologist? At what age can you stop having pelvic exams? And how often do you need a pap smear after 50? Its great that youre asking these questions because prioritizing your health is a top priority, especially in your older years.
Youve come to the right place. Below, we answer your most common questions and provide a bit of insight so you can feel better informed and more in control over your health and your body.
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When To Start Hormone Replacement Therapy
The average age of menopause in the United States is 51. The telltale signs of menopause include irregular periods, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, chills, night sweats, sleep problems, low sex drive, mood changes, and weight gain. At that time, many women switch from oral contraceptive pills to hormone replacement therapy.
However, some women have found that using oral contraceptives during the first few years of menopause may be helpful in controlling any abnormal bleeding that may be present. Once you have gone through menopause and are no longer experiencing abnormal bleeding, you may not need the higher doses of estrogen found in oral contraceptive pills. By taking the lower doses of estrogen found in hormone replacement therapy, you will decrease the risks associated with estrogen such as breast cancer and developing blood clots.
Its important to talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy during or after menopause. Contact Walnut Hill OBGYN to schedule an appointment today.
When Can Contraception Be Safely Stopped
If you are using contraception that does not contain hormones, you will be able to stop using contraception one year after your periods stop if you are aged over 50 years. If you are aged under 50 years, you should use contraception until two years after your periods stop.
However, if you are using hormone-based contraception then your periods are not a reliable way of knowing if you are fertile or not. Some women who take hormone-based contraceptives will have irregular or no periods but they will still be fertile if they stop using their contraceptive. The ages for stopping the different hormone-based contraceptives are detailed below.
Clinical Editor’s comments Dr Hayley Willacy recommends the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health’s latest guidelines on Contraception for women aged over 40 years – see ‘Further Reading and References’, below. The guideline updates information relating to when women no longer require contraception. Progestogen-only pills, progestogen-only implants, levonorgestrel intrauterine systems and copper intrauterine devices can safely be used until the age of 55 and may confer non-contraceptive benefits such as reduced menstrual pain and bleeding and endometrial protection. During perimenopause, isolated serum estradiol, FSH and luteinising hormone levels can be misleading and should not be used as the basis for advice about stopping contraception ovulation may still occur with a risk of pregnancy.
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If You Havent Gotten Pregnant
You stopped birth control pills, your cycles have returned, but youre not getting pregnant. Now what? While you may wonder if your birth control pills have affected your fertility, rest assured that this is highly unlikely.
There are many reasons why people may struggle to conceive. Infertility affects 12% of couples, and both men and women can experience fertility problemswhether or not they previously used hormonal birth control.
If you dont conceive after a year of trying, dont wait to talk to your provider. Delaying testing and treatment may reduce your odds for pregnancy success.
Will I Still Experience Regular Menopause Symptoms
The hormones in combination birth control pills will help to regulate the menstrual cycle and hormones, which will prevent many of the symptoms of menopause.
It is possible, however, that the pill will cause side effects that are very similar to the symptoms of hormone fluctuation. These can include:
- mood swings
- changes in appetite
People may also experience irregular periods or spotting between cycles, especially if they are taking the minipill.
It can be hard to tell if some symptoms are side effects of the synthetic hormones, or are due to natural hormone fluctuations in the body.
One way to check would be to stop taking the birth control pill to allow the bodys natural cycle to resume. It can take some time for the natural hormones to kick back in and for regular menstrual cycles to begin again.
If symptoms continue when someone stops taking the birth control pill, including irregular bleeding, it is likely that they are going through perimenopause. Conversely, if the symptoms go away, these were probably side effects of the pill.
When coming off the pill, it is essential to wait at least a few months to give the hormones time to readjust.
It is important to recognize the possibility that the birth control pill was masking perimenopause or menopause. If this is the case, then menstruation will no longer occur if a person stops taking the pill.
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What Our Patients Say
As of March 2021, I have been a HerKare patient for 3 years. I have driven from the Austin to Ft. Worth and Southlake since March 2018. In fact, today I attempted to drive to Southlake to see the provider, Dania Khoncarly, because she is so amazing, but the roads were too dangerous with the current ice storm in Texas, so I visited the Mansfield location instead as it was closer for me. The patient care has been nothing short of amazing. In fact, I cant imagine my life without HerKare. I struggled with hormone deficiency since 2003 until March 2018. The treatment plan provided by HerKare has positively impacted my way of life socially, emotionally, and physically. One of my closest friends now drives from Copperas Cove to the Mansfield location. I have several friends in my age group mid to late 40s & early 50s who would benefit from HerKare. I understand with our nation experiencing COVID, now might not be the time to open a new location, however, your services could positively impact the well-being of so many women. When the time is right, please open more HerKare locations!
Patient since March 2018
Do I Need To See A Gynecologist After Menopause
As you age, youll notice several changes, beginning with reduced periods. This is something you should look out for after the age of 40. This is generally when female hormones begin changing, which results in several uncomfortable symptoms, including hot flashes, which usually appear during perimenopause. If you have gone a year without a menstrual period, you have likely reached the menopausal phase.
Your body will continue to change after menopause, and many women experience symptoms that require gynecological care. For example, if you experience irritation of the vagina and vulva, sexual intercourse may become painful. Some women experience pelvic organ prolapse when the muscles that support their bladder, rectum, and uterus become significantly weaker. You may also experience urinary incontinence, which requires care as well. At the end of the day, maintaining a solid relationship with your gynecologist can help you keep good health after menopause.
So, when youre asking yourself, do I need to see a gynecologist after menopause? the answer is yes. You must know the available answers when you search gynecologist for seniors near me. However, so long as your exams have been healthy in the preceding years, you will not have to visit your doctor as often as you did pre-menopause.
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What Age Do You Stop Going To The Gynecologist
Throughout your life, your needs when visiting a gynecologist shift. Without speaking regularly with your doctor, you may begin to wonder what you need as you get older. Before menopause, you may have a regular routine, but your needs will start to change as your body changes. Every woman is different however, usually, the age when a womans body begins to change is mid-forties. You may notice irregular periods become the norm, and you may also need to consider that certain conditions require gynecological care.
So, when you ask, what age do you stop going to the gynecologist? The best you can do is keep the channels of communication open with your doctor. Your personal needs will change throughout the different phases of your life for this reason, you must regularly connect with your doctor to determine what course of action is best for your overall health. A once per year visit is a good standard, with more visits being possible, depending on whats happening with your body.
If I’m Taking Birth Control Pills How Will I Know When Menopause Starts
You and your doctor will decide together how long you should take this medicine. You can stop taking very-low-dose birth control pills any time, or you can change to regular estrogen replacement therapy. The decision to change from the low-dose birth control pills to estrogen replacement therapy is usually made around the ages of 49 to 52. Your doctor can also measure a hormone called FSH to see if you’re in menopause. If the FSH measurement is over 30, you’ve probably entered menopause.
Talk to your doctor to see if very-low-dose oral contraceptives might be a good idea for you during your perimenopausal years.
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When Should I Call My Doctor
If any of your postmenopause symptoms bother you or prevent you from living your daily life, contact your healthcare provider to discuss possible treatment. They can confirm you have completed menopause and are in postmenopause.
Some questions you might ask are:
- Are these symptoms normal for people in postmenopause?
- Is there treatment for my symptoms?
- Is hormone therapy still an option?
- What can I do to feel better?
If you experience any vaginal bleeding during postmenopause, contact your healthcare provider to rule out a serious medical condition.