1. Health
Dawn Stacey M.Ed, LMHC

Good News About Sex After Age 40 - Increased Contraceptive Options May Lead to More Carefree Sexual Encounters

By March 23, 2010

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If you are a woman over 40, then listen up! It seems that your available birth control options†may not be as limiting as you have been left to believe - no longer will your choices have to be somewhat restricted to condoms, diaphragms, and tubal ligation. Here's the deal: Dr. Andrew Kaunitz, of the University of Florida,† published research in the New England Journal of Medicine having to do with women aged 40 and over and contraception. Dr. Kaunitz explains that since the estrogen found in many of today's combination birth control pills has been dramatically reduced, the pill is now considered a safe alternative for lean, healthy, older women. In fact, Dr. Kaunitz further points out that many women may prefer the pill because it can help control irregular menstrual bleeding, hot flashes and has been shown to reduce hip fractures and ovarian cancer.

Keep in mind, though, that the risk of dangerous blood clots does sharply rise at age 40 for women who use estrogen-containing birth control pills; and this risk is even greater for women who are overweight (who may also be more likely to have high blood pressure and diabetes). But never fear - if you fall into this category, there is good news for you, too! 40+ year old women who are obese, smoke, have migraines, high blood pressure or certain other risk factors could still be excellent candidates for IUDs or progestin-only contraception options.

Currently, having one's tubes tied is the most common form of contraception for women 40 and older, but that could soon change. The safer use of hormonal contraception has recently been a necessity for the 40-something population - given that many people are choosing to put off child-rearing until later time, sterilization may just not be a good choice. Interestingly, statistics reveal that 40 + aged women are the least likely to use birth control, yet (along with teens), these older women have the highest abortion rates. Hopefully, the expansion of the older woman's contraceptive options will find many women happily enjoying satisfying sexual relationships without the need to worry about getting pregnant.

Birth Control Pill Photo © 2010 Dawn Stacey


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