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.
When Is It Safe To Have Unprotected Sex
Last updated on By Jing J.
Having unprotected sex can be quite enjoyable. But it does come with a SIGNIFICANT consequence if youre not prepared to have and raise a child. Read on to learn when its safe to have unprotected sex.
In the comment board for my article, What Does Your Vagina Discharge Tell You, one question was asked more than once: If I have unprotected sex on x and y days, can I get pregnant?
Having unprotected sex can be quite enjoyable. But it does come with a consequence a potentially significant one, if youre not prepared to have and raise a child.
So if you choose the Fertility Awareness Method for natural birth control, you need to become familiar with your menstrual cycles and be diligent in determining when are the safest days for unprotected sex.
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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Find Ways To Feel Turned On
To help with your arousal and to orgasm, you may find it useful to use a vibrator, either with a partner or solo.
If youre worried about any medical conditions or medications that may be affecting your sex drive or your ability to orgasm, speak to a doctor about them.
If sex with a partner is becoming difficult, make sure you discuss these problems openly and honestly with them. If sex is painful, for example, you could try find another position or technique that works for the both of you. Also, sex doesnt necessarily mean penetration, so experiment with oral sex, genital stimulation or mutual masturbation, as these can give you as much pleasure.
How Can I Know If My Period Is Too ‘heavy’
It can be difficult to know whether you have normal menstrual bleeding or if your period is too heavy. Your period shouldnt interrupt your daily activities such as going to school or work, nor should it make you feel stressed or anxious. Signs that you may be bleeding too heavily during your period include:
- having to change your tampon or pad every hour
- bleeding or ‘flooding’ which is not contained by a thick pad
- having to change your pad during the night
- bleeding for more than 8 days
- passing clumps of blood bigger than a 50-cent piece
If you are concerned that your period is too heavy, you should speak to your doctor to help you work out the cause of your heavy bleeding and to seek solutions.
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Feeling Low After A Hysterectomy
Having your uterus removed can cause you to have feelings of loss or sadness. However, these feelings should pass.
If you’re finding it hard to cope with these emotions, talk to your GP or consultant. You may be able to have counselling to help you work through your feelings. Find a counsellor near you.
It can also help to read about how other women have coped with similar experiences. You can read about women’s experiences of hysterectomy at healthtalk.org.
Sex After The Menopause: The Changes
Menopause is defined as the time after a woman hasnt had a period for 12 straight months, according to the National Institute on Aging. Perimenopause is the time period that leads up to menopause in which women are already experiencing the transition to menopause, and it can last anywhere from 7 to 14 years. Most women enter menopause around the ages of 45 and 55 years old.
Common symptoms during menopause and perimenopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Dry skin, eyes, and/or mouth
Lets talk a bit more in depth about how menopause can affect sex, specifically.
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When Should I See A Doctor About Vaginal Bleeding
It is very common to bleed occasionally between your periods, but if it happens more than once or twice, you should see your doctor. You should make an appointment with your doctor right away if:
- your periods seem too heavy
- you are older than 45 years and experiencing vaginal bleeding between periods
- you bleed after having sex
- you feel unwell, sick or dizzy because of your period
- you have an unusual vaginal discharge along with your period
- you have a fever or experience pain with your period
- there is a chance you could be pregnant
- you are post menopausal
If are worried about talking about womens health or describing your periods, consulting a female doctor in your age group may help you feel more comfortable. It may help to bear in mind that periods are a part of all womens lives, and that vaginal bleeding is a concern that affects most women at some point in their life.
The Healthdirect question builder webpage can help you plan out what you want to discuss with your doctor.
Health Risks For Pregnancies Later In Life
Health risks in pregnancy increase with age. After age 35, the risks of certain problems rise in comparison to younger women. These include:
- Multiple pregnancy, especially if you have IVF. Multiple pregnancies can result in early birth, low birth weight, and difficult delivery.
- Gestational diabetes, which can cause health problems for both mom and baby.
- High blood pressure, which requires careful monitoring and possibly medication to ward off complications.
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What Causes Vaginal Bleeding Between Periods
A lot of things can cause bleeding between periods, including changes to your hormone levels, using hormonal contraception and infections. It is also common for women to bleed slightly around 10 to 14 days after their period, when an egg is released from the ovary since this causes hormone levels to change. This is sometimes called ‘spotting’ because the bleeding is generally very light. If you notice bleeding between your periods more than once or twice, you should speak to your doctor to check if this needs to be investigated.
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.
Changing Birth Control Needs
The birth control method you used in your 20s or 30s may not be the best option in your 40s and 50s. Your body has changed. Your life has likely changed, too. Now is the time to review contraceptive options with your doctor.
If you donât have sex often, you may want to stop daily or long-term birth control and use condoms or diaphragms instead. Itâs important to note that these are less effective than the pill or long-acting methods.
Not all women in their 40s or 50s need to change the birth control theyâve relied on for years. You may be able to stick with your trusted pill, patch, or ring until menopause. Your doctor will consider your weight, tobacco use, blood pressure, and medical history when you talk about your options.
What Is Vaginal Bleeding
Women experience normal vaginal bleeding each month during their menstrual period, which can last anywhere between 1 and 7 days. If you notice blood coming from your vagina at other times, or you are bleeding during your period in a way which makes you concerned, you should arrange to speak to your doctor, since vaginal bleeding can be a sign of infection or other medical issues.
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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.
How Long Should You Wait Before Having Sex After A Hysterectomy
You will be advised not to have sex for around 4 to 6 weeks after having a hysterectomy. This should allow time for scars to heal and any vaginal discharge or bleeding to stop.
If you don’t feel ready for sex after 6 weeks, don’t worry different women feel ready at different times.
There are many different types of hysterectomy, which will affect how it is performed and what is removed.
A total hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus and cervix. If the cervix remains intact, this is a subtotal hysterectomy. Sometimes the ovaries or fallopian tubes are removed as well.
Which organs are removed will depend on your own personal circumstances and the reasons you’re having a hysterectomy.
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A Womans Genes Influence When Shell Hit Menopause
Genetics is probably the number one factor that determines when you will go through menopause, according to Streicher. It doesnt have anything do with when you start your period thats a common myth. You dont go through menopause because you run out of eggs, she says. Its because your eggs age you still have plenty of eggs, she says.
If your mother went through menopause early, in the absence of some medical reason, then you may too, says Streicher. There are still many things we dont understand about why some women go through menopause earlier than others, but it can be health-related. People with autoimmune diseases or thyroid disfunction tend to go through menopause earlier, as well as those with chronic disease in general, she says. Smoking has been linked to earlier menopause, too, she adds.
Unprotected Sex Again After Unwanted
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What Happens At Menopause
Women are born with about a million eggs in each ovary. By puberty about 300,000 eggs remain, and by menopause there are no active eggs left.
On average, a woman in Australia will have 400-500 periods in her lifetime. From about 35-40 years of age, the number of eggs left in your ovaries decreases more quickly and you ovulate less regularly until your periods stop. Menopause means the end of ovulation.
Sex Drive After Hysterectomy
Some women have less interest in sex after having a hysterectomy. If this happens to you, your interest in sex may return as your recovery progresses.
If you and your partner feel it’s a problem, talk about it together so that it does not become an unspoken issue between you. You can also talk to your GP or find a counsellor who can offer help with sexual problems.
Our talking about sex page has tips from a psychosexual therapist, which you might find useful.
Lack of sex drive can be made worse by depression, menopausal symptoms, relationship problems and stress. These problems are often temporary, but if symptoms of the menopause or depression persist, see a doctor. Treating menopausal symptoms may boost your sex drive indirectly by improving your general wellbeing and energy levels.
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How Can I Treat Vaginal Bleeding Between Periods
If your doctor has diagnosed the cause of your bleeding, you can treat the bleeding by following their advice, such as by taking a course of antibiotics if you have an infection, or by changing to a different form of contraception if the bleeding is caused by the contraception you have been taking. If the bleeding is light and isnt bothering you, it may not be necessary to do anything at all.
If you have not yet discussed your vaginal bleeding with your doctor, its important you make an appointment to do so, as vaginal bleeding cannot be treated at home without knowing the cause.
Until you see your doctor, using a larger tampon or pad can help you feel more comfortable if you are experiencing heavy bleeding. If you find that you need to change it very frequently, it is important you tell your doctor, since this can be sign that your period flow is heavier than normal.
Love Yourself And Let Go Of Resentment
One of my research findings about women in midlife with vibrant sex lives is that they are comfortable and familiar with their body. They know what they like and dont like when it comes to sex. If you haven’t yet, perimenopause is an ideal time in your life to get to know your bodyor even get to know it better.
I’ve found that resentment is the top libido crusher for those who identify as women, so forgiveness and restoring our relationships is key for a healthy, satisfying sex life later in life. Journaling and meditation can help with this process.
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