Starting menopause on birth control
You’ve been on the pill since you became sexually active, 20 years or so have flown by, and now you think you’re menopausal? Age is a good indicator or maybe you’ve been able to set your watch by your period all this time and now it’s a heads or tails situation every month, or maybe your period has quit completely.
We’ll just assume that because you are at the age of menopausal onset, or perimenopause, and still taking birth control, you don’t want children. You may be weary of ending your relationship with hormonal oral contraceptives because you fear you may still be able to get pregnant; maybe you would still like the protection of birth control. If these are questions you need answered, keep reading for more information.
Can I get pregnant in perimenopause?
The short answer is yes. Until you have gone a full 12 months without receiving your period, a rite of passage known as menopause, you are still susceptible to random bouts of hormonal surges that could induce ovulation and leave you vulnerable to pregnancy. Keep in mind when going off hormonal birth control that it could take months for the hormones to completely clear from your system and to reveal that you still in fact do have a period.
How can I tell I’ve entered perimenopause on the pill?
If you are taking birth control pills, menopause is virtually unrecognizable. That means you need to have a blood test performed to reveal the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in your body. In order to collect accurate findings, your body needs to be as free from hormonal birth control medication as possible.
Are oral contraceptives harmful at this stage?
Some professionals question the safety of hormonal birth control at any stage, perimenopause is no different. However, keep in mind your natural body chemistry is shifting at this time so it may be necessary to switch to a lower dosage.
Can I continue taking birth control pills or is there an alternative?
The choice to continue taking the birth control is entirely yours; however it’s always a good idea to see what your doctor thinks. There are plenty of alternatives available though:
• Intrauterine device (IUD)
• The sponge
More information about Menopause
Consult your doctor or health professional. Altering your body’s natural chemistry is risky at any stage of life but particularly confusing during the menopausal transition. Hormonal imbalances can lead to unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and unsightly hair growth. To learn more about these, follow this link.
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