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How Safe Is Unprotected Sex After Menopause

What Are The Different Methods Of Contraception Available

What should you do if you’ve had unprotected sex?

Your choice of contraception when you are over the age of 40 years may be influenced by:

  • How effective it is.
  • Your natural decline in fertility.
  • Personal preference.
  • If you have a medical condition that needs to be considered.

Many women over the age of 40 will have just the same options available to them as younger women, but may have different priorities. Read the overview of all options in contraception methods. The following information lists the options, linking to individual leaflets, and commenting on any aspects specific to women between the age of 40 and the menopause.

Find A Lubricant You Love

Vaginal dryness is totally treatable, says , MD, clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine. One option is an over-the-counter vaginal moisturizer designed to be used regularly, say two to three times a week, rather than just before sex. Take a walk down through your local drugstore, and you’ll see many different brands.

Then when you’re ready to hit the bedroom, apply a water- or silicone-based lubricant intended to be used in the moment, so you get even more of an assist. If you’ve never checked out lubricants before, you’ll be amazed at all the varieties, including natural, additive-free versions and some that come in single-use packets for a quickie on the go.

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Until Past Menopause Birth Control Necessary To Prevent Unwanted Pregnancy

Dear Mayo Clinic:

I am 44 and would like to discontinue taking birth control pills. Do I need to use another form of contraception if I want to avoid getting pregnant? At what point is it safe to assume that won’t happen?


Many women wonder if they need birth control once they are in their 40s. Some actually stop using contraception, believing that they do not need it. That belief is not accurate. Until you are past menopause, birth control is necessary if you do not want to get pregnant.

Menopause is defined as the absence of your menstrual period for 12 months in a row. The average age of menopause in the United States is 51. Ninety-five percent of women go through menopause by age 56.

Contraceptives that use hormones, such as birth control pills, are safe and effective for women of all ages, as long as they do not have risk factors such as smoking or high blood pressure. When used long-term, hormonal contraceptives lower the risk for ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer, a type of cancer that begins in the uterus.

Hormonal contraceptives offer added benefits to women in the years leading up to menopause a transition known as perimenopause. They can control the hot flashes and night sweats common in up to 80 percent of these women, and reduce heavy bleeding. They also help keep periods regular.

Petra Casey, M.D., Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Also Check: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause

Talk It Out With Your Partner

Even if it’s just the physical changes of menopause that are making sex painful, talking it out with your partner can help alleviate the stress and anxiety surrounding the topic. If you’re single or your partner isn’t the talky type, your ob-gyn is available to lend an ear. I always encourage women to have a good, trusted gynecological healthcare provider to speak with, Dr. Minkin says. A doctor, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner can be a valuable source of advice.

You may also want to talk to a sex therapist, who can help you be more open about what you need and want from your partner as well as reminding you that the changes you’re experiencing are perfectly normal.

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What Is The Menopause

When is it safe to have unprotected intercourse after ...

Menopause literally means end of menstrual cycle and is often a retrospective diagnosis, says Dr Narendra Pisal, consultant gynaecologist atLondon Gynaecology. Perimenopause is the time period that comes before the menopause and that can last between six months and 10 years, he explains. This is where periods become irregular and eventually stop altogether as ovarian function declines.

During perimenopause, women get some symptoms of menopause, but periods continue. The ovaries continue to produce some hormones, but not as much as before, Pisal says.

Dr Shirin Lakhani of Elite Aesthetics says the symptoms of the menopause can include hot flushes, night sweats, weight gain, loss of libido and vaginal dryness, as well as incontinence and uterine prolapse.

While the average age of menopause is 51 years, Pisal adds, This can be different for you depending on your ethnicity and genetics. Biologically its when the body stops producing the female sex hormones from the ovaries.

Read Also: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause

How Can I Treat Vaginal Dryness After Menopause

For vaginal dryness that causes mild discomfort during sex:

  • Use an over-the-counter, water-based vaginal lubricant when you have sex.

  • Try an over-the-counter vaginal moisturizer to help increase moisture. You may need to use it every few days.

For more severe vaginal dryness, your doctor might prescribe medicines that you put into your vagina to increase moisture and sensation. These may include:

  • Vaginal estrogen creams

You Can Revive Your Sex Drive

If your sexual desire isnt as apparent as it once was, your doctor can help determine the underlying cause of a change in libido. He or she may recommend a sex therapist who can provide tips to spice it up in the bedroom such as increased foreplay, changing sexual routines, or incorporating lubricants or toys, for example.

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Try A Prescription Cream

If youve tried over-the-counter options and youre still dry down thereor your sex drive continues to circle the draintalk to your doctor about medical treatments that can help. One possibility: low-dose estrogen vaginal creams that contain the anti-aging hormone DHA.

A cream isn’t your only option. Tablets and rings that go into the vagina and are absorbed via skin are also available. Also, a once-a-day, hormone-free drug, Osphena, has been approved by the FDA that helps thicken vaginal tissue so pain and tearing are less likely. Osphena isn’t for everyone, so if you’re considering it, check in with your ob-gyn and find out if you’re a candidate to take it.

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Sex After Menopause: Things They Never Told You

Causes of missed periods after unprotected contact during periods – Dr. Teena S Thomas

January 14, 2020 Menstruation & Menopause, Sexual Health

As a young woman,you may remember your mom fanning herself to cope with random hot flashes. Perhaps she complained about the lack of sleep she experienced the night prior, changed her pajamas as a result of night sweats, or was moody at times. She most likely was going through menopause, a transformative time in a womans life and something every female will experience . The symptoms of menopause are caused by a decrease in the production of estrogen and progesterone.

An important sign of menopause that is often overlooked, or not prioritized, is a decrease in sexual desire or intimacy. While vaginal dryness and painful intercourse due to changing hormone levels is possible, fear not theres a light at the end of the tunnel. Sex can be just as good after menopause with a few simple tweaks.

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Everything You Need To Know About Perimenopause And Hitting It In Your 30s

  • You know that toxic boyfriend, who creeps his way into your life so slowly and steadily that you dont realise the degree of his toxicity till he finally leaves for good? Unfortunately, perimenopause happens to be the hormonal equivalent of this creepmaking way for menopause.

    But what is perimenopause really? Lets decodePerimenopause is the stage where you experience symptoms of menopause like hot flashes and sleeping disorders, but you still get your periods. However, you might get irregular periods or your flow might be extremely light.

    Perimenopause is a condition when the body naturally makes a transition towards menopause, states Dr Nisha Jain, a gynaecologist at Saroj Super-Speciality Hospital.

    But why does perimenopause happen?The ovaries gradually decrease the production of oestrogen, leading to irregular periods and other hormonal changes, preparing the body for the onset of menopause, explains Dr Jain.

    When does perimenopause happen and how long does it last?Well, this completely depends on the individual, to be honest. Youve got to consider your genetic history, lifestyle, and the behaviour of your hormones to determine when itll hit youbut many studies say that perimenopause can start in your 30s!

    As for the duration of this calm before the big storm of menopause, it can last for around three to four years according to Dr A. Jaishree Gajaraj, senior consultant, Obstetrics & Gynecology, MGM Healthcare, Chennai.

    You Know What You Want

    Think Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate. Older babes know what they want in the bedroom and dont have to be shy about it. Menopause is a very defining time for most women, many of whom realize that they have put their sexuality on the back burner for way too long, and if they dont use it, they will lose it for good, says Dr. Richards. Theres some data to suggest that women become less inhibited as they age, so its often a time of relaxation and being comfortable with who you are, and that often improves sexual functioning and sexual performance, says Dr. Wierman.

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    At What Point Can I Stop Using It

    Once you have missed your period for a year, you are considered menopausal and may safely stop birth control. About 90-95 percent of women will be menopausal by age 55 and may stop birth control then. Sometimes lab tests are also performed to confirm menopause, but most women dont need them.

    Even before the final period, many women experience menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and trouble sleeping. You can start on menopausal hormone therapy using an estrogen patch to help manage symptoms and use one of the progestin-only birth control options for contraception and to protect the uterine lining from growing too much with the estrogen. The progestin-containing IUD, implant, shot or minipill all work well for this. If you have had a hysterectomy, you can take estrogen alone.

    If you would like to avoid hormones as you transition into menopause, you can use the copper IUD, barrier methods like condoms, cervical cap, diaphragm or sponge, or have a minor surgical procedure to tie or block your fallopian tubes. Your health care provider can help guide you in choosing the best birth control option for you during the menopausal transition.

    Physical Changes With Menopause

    How to Avoid Pregnancy after Unprotected Sex ...

    Around menopause, you may notice physical changes that affect your sexuality in positive and negative ways. These may include:

    • vaginal changes as oestrogen levels fall, the walls of the vagina become thinner and drier. Loss of lubrication can make having sex uncomfortable
    • slowed sexual response it may take longer for you to get aroused and reach orgasm, and orgasm may be less intense
    • infections your vagina and bladder may become more susceptible to bacterial infections
    • menopause symptoms can include hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia and unusual skin sensations like prickling, itching or ants under the skin
    • touch avoidance you may find you dont want to be touched. You may not feel like getting close and intimate because your skin feels more sensitive and you dont like the feeling of your combined body heat
    • physical discomfort of menopause symptoms may reduce your interest in sex or make you tired
    • absent periods if you experienced heavy or painful periods you may feel relieved and positive about no longer having periods. This can lead to a renewed interest in sex
    • no fear of pregnancy if you were trying to avoid pregnancy during your reproductive years, you may find menopause a time of renewed sexual interest. Without the risk of pregnancy, sex may become more relaxed and fun and you may feel like it more often.

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    Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Be Used For Contraception

    As hormone replacement therapy contains very low levels of hormones, it does not work as a contraceptive. Unless you went through the menopause before you started HRT, you should use contraception until you are aged 55 years.

    If you are taking HRT but still need contraception then you can take the POP or have an IUCD or IUS inserted. Alternatively, many women choose to use barrier methods of contraception. As above, the IUS can be used as part of your HRT so is a good option if you need contraception and HRT.

    Is The Fertile Method Effective

    If you have very consistent cycles, knowing your fertile window can help prevent pregnancy. But keep in mind, your cycle days can still change each month. Factors like stress, diet, or heavy exercise can affect the number of days in your cycle. The day of ovulation can also change every month.

    Tracking your ovulation is a more effective way to help you get pregnant. If youre trying to avoid pregnancy, talk to your doctor about the best birth control for you.

    • using ovulation predictor kits

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    Long Acting Reversible Contraception Methods

    LARC methods are administered less frequently than once per month and are associated with a very low failure rate compared with shorter acting methods .

    The contraceptive implant

    • The implant available in Australia is a 4cm rod which is inserted under the skin of the upper inner non-dominant arm with the use of local anaesthetic. It releases the progestogen hormone called etonogestrel over a three year period but can be removed earlier if required. It works by preventing ovulation as well as by thickening the cervical mucus and thinning the endometrium.
    • The implant available in New Zealand consists of two small flexible silicon rods, each containing 75mg levonorgestrel, a synthetic progestin .


    • It provides highly effective contraception
    • It is cost effective following the up front insertion cost
    • It is a progestogen-only method and can be used by women with contraindications to oestrogen
    • It can result in less bleeding or amenorrhoea


    • It requires an insertion and removal procedure
    • It can be associated with a troublesome bleeding pattern: approximately 20% of women have prolonged or heavy bleeding although this can be controlled with interventions such as the use of a combined oral contraceptive pill for three or more months in women who have no contraindications to oestrogen
    • Progestogenic side effects such as acne may occur in some women

    Levonorgestrel Intra-Uterine Device



    Copper-bearing IUD



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    Can Menopause Be Reversed

    The short answer is no, but researchers are working on it.

    One avenue of study is treatment using a womans own platelet-rich plasma . PRP contains growth factors, hormones, and cytokines.

    Early efforts to restore activity in the ovaries of perimenopausal women indicate that ovarian activity restoration is possible, but only temporarily. Research is still in the early stages. Clinical trials are underway.

    In a small study of postmenopausal women, 11 of 27 who were treated with PRP regained a menstrual cycle within three months. Researchers were able to retrieve mature eggs from two women. IVF was successful in one woman.

    Much additional research on larger groups of women is needed.

    With All That Said You Can Still Have A Great Sex Life In Menopause

    Pizarro and Brown-James both agree on this point. In fact, Dr. Pizarro says meno post-menopausal people have very active sex lives even without taking estrogen. Whats more, sexual satisfaction might increase once someones been through menopause.

    There are a few reasons that might happen. The worry of being pregnant is no longer there, says Brown-James. Also, some people experience an increase in their sexual awareness of their bodies. Many women have not been taught to explore their bodies and have internalized ideas that the vulva or vagina are dirty or for someone elses pleasure, not theirs, she explains. A lot of times, if the knowledge that none of that is true hasnt taken root before, it gets dispelled at this point, and women realize their bodies are really for themselves. Bonus: That may also lead to more intense orgasms, says Brown-James.

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    Theres Nothing Wrong With Needing Help In The Lubrication Department

    Whether you decide to opt for extra hormones or not, using vaginal moisturizers like Replens and regular ol lube can help ease vaginal discomfort. In fact, Tami Rowen, M.D. an obstetrician and gynecologist specializing in sexual health at the University of California San Francisco, highly recommends using a lubricant to help make sex more enjoyable if you experience vaginal dryness. If youre new to lube, its important to know that there are several types: silicone-based, oil-based, water-based, and hybrids. Generally, water-based lubes that dont contain glycerin are a good choice because theyre suitable for people with sensitive skin. Further, Dr. Rowen suggests buying a lube that mimics the natural pH of your vagina. Changes to its natural state can cause an overgrowth of bacteria and lead to infections like bacterial vaginosis, according to the Cleveland Clinic. . Before heading to the store, you can do research online to find a product that fits within this scale. Dr. Rowen recommends lubes like Almost Naked by Good Clean Love . This one falls between 4.2 – 4.7 on the pH scale, according to the manufacturers website.


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