The risk of becoming pregnant after 50 is significantly reduced. However, without the permission of the gynecologist, it is also not recommended to withdraw any method of contraception on your own. If you no longer want to take birth control pills, then apply additional birth control options.
Many women with the onset of menopause (over 50) refuse to take birth control pills. They are sure that their reproductive function is reduced. The risk of becoming pregnant becomes minimal. During premenopause, the menstrual cycle becomes irregular. However, this does not mean at all that a woman can practice unprotected intercourse since the ability to reproduce does not stop immediately.
A gynecologist should prescribe the withdrawal of the birth control pills after conducting a physical examination or clinical tests. The self-withdrawal of drugs can cause unwanted pregnancy, as well as, hormonal imbalance. That is why women in adulthood need to consult their doctor, especially in the early stages of the manifestation of symptoms characteristic of menopause.
There are several methods of contraception that are recommended for women of climacteric age:
- oral contraceptives;
- barrier methods;
- intrauterine device;
- surgical method.
Oral contraception is perhaps the most convenient birth control option during menopause. The main function of hormonal birth control pills is to protect against pregnancy. At the same time, such drugs maintain hormonal balance, since they contain female sex hormones – estrogen, ethinyl estradiol, gestagen, levonorgestrel, desogestrel, etc. A woman needs to take drugs daily, preferably at the same time.
Oral contraceptives should be selected by the gynecologist for each woman individually. When choosing a drug, a specialist takes into account the woman’s health and the presence of diseases.
A separate group of contraceptive pills is Plan B. It belongs to postcoital emergency contraception. You need to take it no later than 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse.
It is dangerous for women of climacteric age to use Plan B and its analogs since menopause provokes a severe hormonal change in the body. The dose of hormones that enters a female body can harm the endocrine system.
Spermicides as Contraception for Women Over 50
Women with menopause can use spermicides to protect from unwanted pregnancy. This is a chemical birth control option. These are substances that form a foamy or mucous layer inside the vagina, through which sperm cannot pass. They are released in various gels, pastes, lubricants, sprays, aerosols, balls.
It is necessary to use this birth control immediately before intercourse, after which they will not be efficient. Spermicides are recommended for women who have rare sexual contacts.
This method of contraception cannot be used as a regular one. Chemical contraceptives harm the microflora and acidic vaginal environment. Dryness, itching, and burning may occur.
- Active Ingredient: Nonoxynol-9
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- Active Ingredient: Nonoxynol-9
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The vaginal ring is a hormonal method of contraception. It is a latex ring for vaginal use, 4 mm thick and 5.5 cm in diameter. It is placed in the vagina for 21 days. After a 7 days-break, a new ring is placed.
Two hormones are continuously released from the ring. These are progestin and estrogen. They block the release of eggs from the ovaries (ovulation). These hormones complicate the penetration of the sperm to the egg and the attachment of the egg to the uterine wall.
When used correctly, the vaginal ring guarantees almost 100% effectiveness. One vaginal ring will provide contraception for a month, so you don’t have to think about it every day. Unlike a pill, a vaginal ring is still efficient even if you have vomiting or diarrhea.
A ring can relieve PMS symptoms. Your period is likely to be less painful.
Some women experience temporary side effects, including ample secretions, breast tenderness, and headaches. Few women develop blood clots (thrombosis), but this is extremely rare. The vaginal ring can sometimes fall out on its own, but you can rinse it in warm water and place it back in as soon as possible. The vaginal ring does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Who can use a vaginal ring?
Some women cannot use the vaginal ring. Only a doctor, based on the medical history you provide, can determine the best contraceptive method for you. The ring may not fit if you:
- have (had) a blood clot in a vein or artery;
- have heart or circulation problems, including high blood pressure;
- you are over 35 and smoke, or quit last year;
- have a severe aura migraine;
- have had breast cancer in the past five years;
- have diabetes with complications;
- are overweight;
- are taking certain medications.
If you do not smoke and there is no medical reason for contraindication, you can use the vaginal ring for up to 50 years old.
Hormonal transdermal patches
Using this birth control option, you get the same effect as in the case of COCs. There is no ovulation. The contraceptive patch is attached to the skin. It is transdermal. The necessary hormones are reliably supplied to the body through the dermis. You need to change it more often than the vaginal ring – three patches for one menstrual cycle.
Birth control injections
Depending on the chosen preparation, injections are made once every 2-3 months on any day of the cycle. An injection is made into the gluteus muscle or the deltoid muscle of the shoulder.
- Convenient in comparison with pills: you need to think about contraception only once every 2-3 months;
- Suitable for women of all ages;
- Suitable for nulliparous and parous women;
- The injection can be painful, sometimes bruising and bumps appear;
- Side effects are more often expressed. They are acne, increased hair growth (hirsutism).
Unfortunately, injections are not recommended after 50. Injections provoke too much stress on the female body.
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