C is for contraception..

Being peri-menopausal means your fertility is reduced but not entirely gone. Contraception is still required to prevent those unwanted little additions

Think you’re menopausal? Here’s why you shouldn’t ditch precautions.

According to Dr. Roger Henderson, unintended pregnancies in older women occur as often as they do in younger women!

“I am sometimes asked by women who are going through the peri-menopause – the time when their hormones are changing as they head towards menopause – if they still need to use contraception and they are often surprised when I say to the vast majority of them that they should.

They are even more surprised to learn that spontaneous pregnancies have occurred up to the age of 59, and that unintended pregnancy rates in older women occur at levels similar to those in young women.

As a general rule, reliable contraception should be used until the menopause is confirmed either by periods having stopped totally for 2 years before the age of 50, or for 12 months after this age.

So, what types of contraception should a woman entering her menopause consider? Fortunately, there are many possible options here and each case needs to be taken on its own merit, so always discuss this with your doctor in order to help make an informed decision.”

N.B. For women who use hormone based contraceptives, such as the pill, mini-pill, injection, Mirena coil, etc, you may not be able to tell when your last period occurred as the hormones mask your natural cycle. You should ask your doctor when you can stop using contraception during your usual check ups. Bear in mind too, that condoms are also a safe guard against sexually transmitted diseases at any age!

Whatever choice you make, do not always assume that the start of the menopause means you no longer need contraception – you do!

Contraception and the Menopause

How long do you need to use contraception at menopause?

How long do you need to use contraception at menopause?

Although fertility reduces as you age, you cannot be certain that you are infertile. It’s vital to remember that, until your periods have stopped completely, it’s still possible for you to fall pregnant. Unless you are trying to have a baby (eeek!!) you still need to use contraception.

If you use a currently use a barrier method e.g. condoms, non hormonal IUD, you should continue taking precautions for 2 years since the date of your last period if you are 50 or under. If you are over 50 then you need to use contraceptives for 1 year after your last period.

For women who use hormone based contraceptives, e.g. The pill, mini-pill, injection, Mirena coil, you may not be able to tell when your last period occurred as the hormones mask your natural cycles. You should ask your doctor when you can stop using contraception during your usual check ups.

N.B. Bio-identical progesterone cream should not be used as a contraceptive.