Birth rates among US women aged 35 to 44 years have doubled over the past few decades. While the number of women deferring pregnancy until later in life is on the rise, a significant number of pregnancies occurring in the later reproductive years are unplanned. In fact, among women 40 years and older, 51 percent of pregnancies were unintended.
As a woman turns forty or better, she may experience erratic periods, hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, mood swings, perimenstrual headaches, bladder control issues and perhaps even gain a little weight. For some women, however, these symptoms and changes along with erratic periods can often lead them to think they no longer need to use some form of contraception.
The reality is that women can still become pregnant as long as they are ovulating and that is true even when cycles are irregular. You are not considered ‘menopausal’ until you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months. So, when is it safe to stop the use of birth control? If menopause occurs before the age of 50 you should continue using birth control for two years following the last menstruation. If menopause occurs after the age of 50, birth control should be used for one year following the last menstruation.
I am hosting the Red Hot Mamas Seminar on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at Portneuf Medical Center. We will discuss contraceptive need during perimenopause as well as address other menopausal related issues. Doors open at 6pm; the presentation begins at 6:30. Light refreshments will be served. Space is limited. To reserve a seat, call Portneuf Community Education and Events Line at 208-239-1401.To learn more about PMC’s upcoming seminars, including Red Hot Mamas, be sure to like Portneuf Medical Center on Facebook.
The physicians at Pocatello Women’s Health Clinic are experts in obstetrics, gynecology, high-risk pregnancy management, menopause, infertility, pelvic pain management, menstrual pain, heavy bleeding, and PMS, weight loss, contraceptive service – temporary, permanent, and non-hormonal, incontinence, depression, endometrial ablation, wellness care as well as medical education and overall general medical care for women of all ages.