To Pill or Not to Pill, that is my question
January 6, 2012 4:26 PM Subscribe
I'm a 44-year-old woman and I'm on the pill. Should I be?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I know you're not my gyno, and I will be seeing my gyno but not for six weeks. I'd like to get some info in advance so I'm sure to ask her all the appropriate questions.
I'm 44 and I've been on and off the pill at various stages since age 16. At first I used it purely for birth control, and in those early days it was expensive so I'd sometimes be on it for a while, then off for a couple of years, then on again when I could afford it, was in a relationship, etc.
After a long stage of not being on the pill in my late 20s, I started to have problems with my period. It would come very often (around every 20 days) and be very heavy and long. My gyno suggested going back on the pill specifically to regulate my periods. It worked, and I stayed on until I was in my mid-30s and wanted to get pregnant. I went off the pill, got pregnant easily, then breast-fed my child for a long time, so it wasn't until my kid was around 2-ish that my periods were back to a somewhat normal cycle, and again I started experiencing frequent, heavy periods. The gyno (by now a different gyno) suggested going back on the pill for the regulation aspect, so I did and it worked fine.
So here I am at age 44, still on the pill. Some basic facts:
-- I use Loestrin, or the generic approved by my insurance company, which seems to change every year or so.
-- I do not experience any unpleasant side effects from the pill.
-- I am very overweight. I do not smoke.
-- I do not wish to become pregnant, but I don't know if that would even be possible at this age.
-- I wonder what sort of stage I am in with regards to menopause. I do not know my mother's menopause history and will not be able to find out. Don't have older sisters. (Not sure if a sister/mother's experience with menopause is relevant.)
So I'm wondering if there's some sort of general rule when it comes to females around this age, about whether or not you should be on the pill as you age towards menopause?
I know there are risks associated with being on the pill. Do those increase as I age? Should that be a factor in my decision?
I had fairly low blood pressure my whole life until a couple of years ago. It has been creeping up, and is something my general practitioner is aware of and is keeping an eye on. I am hoping to deal with it through weight loss. Should this be considered with regards to being on the pill?
And is there anything else I should be thinking about when I have this discussion with my gyno?
(Anon because I don't want gynocological questions linked with my online presence.)