All too often, women in their 40’s and 50’s abandon the use of birth control before their periods stop completely, due to an assumption that the risk of pregnancy is much lower with age. A rule of thumb to follow regarding birth control is that you should continue to use it for one year following your last period if you are 50 or over, and two years following your last period of you are under 50 years old.
One reason women in their 40’s and 50’s may be eager to stop hormonal birth control is that the risksincrease as a woman gets older. Examples of this include:
- Nutrient Absorption– Hormonal birth control can impact the rate at which your body absorbs and utilizes B vitamins, zinc, and beta-carotene, which can cause changes to glucose tolerance, liver function, and insulin sensitivity.
- Risk of Stroke– The chance of stroke occurring in birth control pill users increases over the age of 35, particularly if the woman is a smoker or a migraine sufferer.
- Cholesterol Levels– Oral contraceptives can increase total serum cholesterol levels in perimenopausal women.
- Breast Cancer Risk– Studies have found that women on oral contraceptives have an elevated risk for breast cancer, and that hormones contained in the pill can actually accelerate the growth of malignant cells in the body.
- Blood Clots– While hormonal birth control increases the risk of blood clots at any age, the risk is higher for women over 50 years old. Blood clots are frightening in that they can be asymptomatic, meaning you may not know you are developing one, and they can be deadly if they travel to a major organ, such as the lungs or heart.
If you would like to avoid the inherent risks of hormonal birth control, you do have other options, one of which is Lady-Comp. The Lady-Comp system is a safe, natural way to determine your fertile days based on your previous cycles and morning body temperature. For more information, please give us a call at 1-877-925-LADY.