Enter the 40s and most women are under the impression that sex gets more exciting now because unwanted pregnancies are a thing of the past. False! Age is not a factor that can determine with 100% surety that pregnancy will not occur.
Just like when you were younger, the only way to make sure you do not get pregnant is by practicing abstinence. The chances of fertility do decrease considerably in women who are 37 years or more, but this does not mean that they cannot get pregnant. It is important to protect yourself from an unwanted pregnancy even after you cross 40.
There are many options for contraception when you cross 40, and when using the available methods in a combination, you can protect yourself from an unwanted pregnancy. If you were using family planning as a method of contraception, now is the time to make the change to a more reliable contraception method.
Contraception Options For Mature Women
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills can still be an option after you cross 40. In fact, if you lead a healthy lifestyle and do not suffer from any health issues like heart disease and a high blood pressure, you can continue using birth control pills until you turn 50. However, due to the reported side effects such as weight gain, nausea and headaches, the pill is best used by women who are not overweight, lead a healthy lifestyle and do not smoke.
Rings And Patches
These are estrogen-based contraception options. The ring is inserted into the vagina and left there for three weeks. After one week off the ring, another ring is inserted. One ring gives a woman a whole months’ protection.
The advantage of the ring and the patch is that they are estrogen-based and therefore help to regularize periods. The is especially useful to women who are approaching menopause.
Progestogen-Based Contraception Options
The Depo-provera injection and the intrauterine device Mirena are examples of the progestogen-based contraception options. These can be used for several months together and are a good and safe option.
Contraceptives that are not hormone-based are an option for women over 40, although they are not a very reliable option. These include condoms, the copper IUD, sponges, diaphragms and cervical caps.
There are permanent methods of contraception that can be used. These are tubal ligation and fallopian tube occlusion. In tubal ligation, the fallopian tubes are cut, severed, burnt or tied in order to make sure that the sperm do not reach the egg.
This is a permanent method of contraception; however this is an invasive procedure. Fallopian tube occlusion on the other hand is a minimally invasive procedure in which a small device is placed within the tubes. These cause tissue to grow inside the tubes which once again prevent the sperm from reaching the egg.
Finally, if at this age you do not wish to be bogged down with contraception, there is another choice – the vasectomy. This is the male counterpart of a tubal ligation.
A permanent procedure that is performed on the male partner, this is a simple, noninvasive procedure that can be performed as an outpatient procedure.