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Sex After 40: Choosing the Right Contraceptive

Sex After 40: Choosing the Right Contraceptive

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Published by Lynne Grummitt
As a women, it never actually occurred to me that I would still be having sex after the age of 40. Let alone still be worrying about falling pregnant. Apparently taking the pill long-term is not an ideal solution for everyone and more appropriate methods like IUD's are recommended.
As a women, it never actually occurred to me that I would still be having sex after the age of 40. Let alone still be worrying about falling pregnant. Apparently taking the pill long-term is not an ideal solution for everyone and more appropriate methods like IUD's are recommended.

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Published by: Lynne Grummitt on Mar 06, 2013
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05/14/2014

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Sex After 40: Choosing the RightContraceptive
 Women over 40 can enjoy satisfying sex lives, but their go-to form of birth control may need to change.
If you’re a woman over 40 who has sworn by the 30-day hormonal pill pack for years, it might be time toreconsider your ideal form of birth control. Your sex lifemight be the same, but your bodily needs havechanged in many ways.The conversation about sexual health and pregnancy tends to revolve aroundyounger women at the most fertile time of their lives, but pregnancy is stillpossible for women over 40, and they still require contraception to maintain aworry-free sex life. A new study brings these issues to the forefront, exploring the most and leasteffective forms of contraception for women over 40 and the risks associated witheach. Dr. Rebecca Allen of the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown Universityand fellow researchers published their findings in the
Canadian Medical  Association Journal 
.
What Are the Risks and Benefits of Contraceptionfor Older Women?
Because the medical risks of pregnancy increase with age, contraception fowomen over 40 is just as immediate a concern as it is for younger women. Thereare risks and benefits associated with each form of contraception, especially inconjunction with women’s changing bodies.
 
"Clinical judgment will be required to balance the risks and benefits when awoman has multiple medical conditions," Allen says. "The availability of safe,effective options suggests that estrogen-containing methods should increasinglybe used with caution in older women who have cardiovascular risk factors."This is particularly true for oral contraceptives, which can also prove less effectivefor women as they grow older. The risks of oral contraceptive use in women over 40 include cardiovascular complications, such as blood clots, and bone fracturerisks.But the benefits can’t be overlooked, either. Women who use oral contraceptivesgenerally enjoy menstrual regularity, regulation of vasomotor symptoms, such ashot flashes and night sweats, and a decrease in the risk of endometrial cancer.The researchers suggest non-hormonal and progestin-only birth control methodsfor women who have been advised to avoid contraceptives containing estrogen. According to the study, the World Health Organization names copper intrauterinedevices (IUDs), progestin implants, and sterilization as the most effective formsof birth control. The ideal for women over 40 is generallylong-acting, reversiblecontraception, such as an IUD.This does not discount the effectiveness of short-term methods, such as oral contraceptives, but these options should beassessed on an individual basis.In addition, while there are women over 40 who are able to conceive withoutcomplications, all women should be aware of the possible consequences. As thereport states, “[t]he risk of spontaneous abortion and chromosomal abnormalitiesincreases markedly after age 40. Older age is also associated with an increasedrisk of obstetric complications, including gestational diabetes, hypertension,placenta previa, cesarean delivery, perinatal death, and maternal death.”
Why Is This Study Important?
With so many birth control options, choosing the most age-appropriate form of contraception can be challenging.Unintended pregnanciesare an issue fowomen of all ages, so they must be informed about what works and what doesn’t,especially if they’ve trusted the same form of contraception for years.

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