Once a woman starts to menstruate and is sexually active, then the birth control pill is a good way of preventing pregnancy. However, as you get older and particularly towards the 35 – 40 year old age group, is the birth control pill still safe to use? It can be a long gap between 35 and hitting menopause, which is the time when birth control starts to not be so necessary. But what should you do if your age is causing you to worry when you take the pill?
Do I risk a heart attack?
Research has shown that more women in the 35 – 40 year old age bracket are now more prone to heart attacks but they are not sure why. It could of course be due to things such as over-eating, lack of exercise or smoking too much, and not necessarily be because of taking the pill. It may not be necessary for you to cease using it just because you fall into this age group.
What about other health risks?
The birth control pill normally contains a mix of hormones and some doctors believe it could actually act as a protection against ovarian/uterine cancer. As for breast cancer, it is not really known whether the pill exacerbates the chance of getting this or not. It is possible the birth control pill may push cholesterol levels up as well as blood pressure, but research in this area is still very vague.
I am 35 soon. Should I give up the pill?
If you are in your mid 30’s, early 40’s then it is a good idea to check with your doctor as to whether or not you should continue with the pill or not. However, the good news is that if you are healthy, do not smoke and look after your health, it is likely that your doctor will support you taking the pill until you hit 50 and start to see signs of the menopause.
But what if I am not in good health?
When your doctor carries out your consultation, he will look at your overall health before recommending the pill. He will ask you questions about the following:
- Do you smoke?
- Are you overweight?
- Do you have a problem with high blood pressure?
- Are you diabetic?
- Are your cholesterol levels high?
- Do you suffer from migraine?
If it looks as if the birth control pill is not suitable, he will discuss it with you and look at the best way of moving forward. You may need to make changes to your lifestyle or examine alternative methods of contraception.