18 answers

Birth Control at Age 50 and Over

I am 51 years old and only started having peri-menopausal symptoms this year. My mother was still having occasional periods when she was killed by a drunk driver at age 58, so genetically my late start was expected.

I've been on BC pills for many years of my life. I was off them before and after the birth of my daughter at age 41 until age 46 when I was divorced and went back on them. My current doctor is saying she won't renew my BC prescription for more than one more year, that when I'm 52 I need to go off them. I do know that other doctors have prescribed pills for women as old as 54. The chance of getting pregnant at 52+ is very small, but exists until a woman hasn't had a period for 12 months in a row.

I feel like my options are limited. Condoms suck, really, and I've not known a man my entire life that will use them, even if I would. Other barrier methods use icky smelling, irritating, and especially awful tasting spermicide, so not an option. Other hormonal methods seem to defeat my doctor's purpose of getting me off these hormones.

So, really, I'm thinking of just dumping my guy unless he'll "man up" and get a vasectomy (which I've already actually warned him of, be he's got a ton of ridiculous excuses, one was lack of health insurance which he now does have...)

Any of you out there of this age group, what did you do, are you doing, are you planning on doing for birth control??

ADDED: Sorry that I didn't add this before. I am underinsured with a policy that has a $6000 annual deductible. A procedure like Essure costs $5000. I checked into it a few years ago. This is absolutely unaffordable.

I know that I can't "demand that someone have a surgical procedure". I do, however, have the right to end a relationship if it's not working for me, for any reason.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to those who could relate to my frustration here. It's not that I don't know about the various methods of BC, but was more interested to hear from others who have gone through this time of life and what your solutions were.

I have several frustrations here: I've been the one to take responsibility for BC since I was 20 and found that men just didn't care or weren't willing to take consistent precautions, so I went on the Pill at 21 just to hear my then-BF call me a "whore" because of it...that's another and an old story. I'm frustrated that perm options for women are SO expensive and out of my financial reach. I'm frustrated that my Dr. seems to be uttering an ultimatum based on age alone and not my total lack of other risk factors. I'm frustrated that my current guy, who I've been seeing for five years, who's known about this issue for 4 years, still hasn't taken action and had what is really a 15 min clinic procedure.

This wasn't a question about my current relationship(s) but I will attempt to explain. I am not in love with this man nor he with me. We have a mutually satisfying and agreeable five year long adult relationship that is separate from and doesn't involve our children or really the rest of our lives and is not going to develop into anything more. If I "dump" him he will be sad but not heartbroken. Some of you may judge me for this, but it works for us. When my daughter is grown, I may look for a true life-partner, but now I have no desire for that type of relationship. I am more than "busy" with my doctoral education, work, parenting, grand-parenting, and my other interests...

I will monitor my menopausal symptoms, talk with my doctor, change doctors if necessary, think through my options, and make some decisions.

Featured Answers

New Man and I have been discussing long term birth control as we head into a long term relationship. I am 47, he is a decade more. I have not been on the pill in over a decade and do not want to go back on them. So we have been using Vaginal Contraceptive Films (which are not messy) and condoms. We switched to the non-latex condoms, but next we are trying the lambskin as the things do not agree with me.

I am looking into the sponge - used them 20 odd years ago and didn't mind them. Like the fact that they are more than a "one and done" temporary birth control.

Long term solutions are either a vasectomy for him or an IUD for me. I am actually leaning towards the IUD as their life span is 10 to 12 years - by which time I should, hopefully, be through menopause. Though, to be fair, he has said he would do the V.

I will eagerly read the other responses as this is a question that I have been pondering lately.

3 moms found this helpful

If a guy won't wear a condom, dump him. My husband and I use condoms and he doesn't love it, but he knows the alternative is taking care of his own orgasms, so I never hear any complaining.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

S., just dump him now. It is entirely unfair to demand that a boyfriend, someone not your husband, get a vasectomy because birth control is messy.

If a boyfriend told me that I had to have my tubes tied or he would dump me, I'd walk away from him. So save him the hurt feelings and just walk away now.

D.

6 moms found this helpful

A vasectomy? should you get a hysterectomy because you could get pregnant? pleeeeeze

4 moms found this helpful

If a man doesn't want a child, he will wear a condom. Period. If he won't, then he better be ready to fork over the money and support for a child. If I were scared of a pregnancy, it would be condom or no sex.

You can't demand someone have a vasectomy. You just...can't. You're not even married to the dude. He does not owe you this to begin with. Especially, since he is just a boyfriend. It's HIS body, he doesn't have to do what you want. How would you react if someone demanded you have a surgical procedure? I'm willing to bet, you would laugh at someone making it a requirement. (I know I would!) How about YOU get your tubes tied, or a hysterectomy? Why don't you take control of this?

4 moms found this helpful

Hi S.-

I am now 53. I am in a committed relationship...and at the beginning of it (over 6 years ago...WOW) I was pre menopausal.

IF he had 'balked' at condoms...I would have gotten a crochet hook...manicure scissors...needle and thread...and a cigarette lighter...and given him a vasectomy MYSELF!

He was actually very good with condoms...but was absolutely willing to get the big "V" as well. Then he had some health issues of his own...

I am now PROUDLY period free for over 3 years...And I am SO glad we are condom free...

I would tell him to 'man' up...

(or show him your 'crochet' hooks...)

;)
michele/cat

3 moms found this helpful

New Man and I have been discussing long term birth control as we head into a long term relationship. I am 47, he is a decade more. I have not been on the pill in over a decade and do not want to go back on them. So we have been using Vaginal Contraceptive Films (which are not messy) and condoms. We switched to the non-latex condoms, but next we are trying the lambskin as the things do not agree with me.

I am looking into the sponge - used them 20 odd years ago and didn't mind them. Like the fact that they are more than a "one and done" temporary birth control.

Long term solutions are either a vasectomy for him or an IUD for me. I am actually leaning towards the IUD as their life span is 10 to 12 years - by which time I should, hopefully, be through menopause. Though, to be fair, he has said he would do the V.

I will eagerly read the other responses as this is a question that I have been pondering lately.

3 moms found this helpful

If you're willing to dump this guy over birth control, sounds like you're not sharing love and are not in a committed relationship. As Dawn suggested, I would end the relationship without the ultimatum. An ultimatum just is not fair and is very hurtful. End the relationship because you do not love each other; not because he won't do as you say.

I used a diaphragm and even tho it could be thought of as messy I did not find it to be unpleasant. Is not loving your partner more important than being inconvenienced?

2 moms found this helpful

If a guy won't wear a condom, dump him. My husband and I use condoms and he doesn't love it, but he knows the alternative is taking care of his own orgasms, so I never hear any complaining.

2 moms found this helpful

How about a copper IUD or Essure? The copper IUD has no hormones and lasts 10 years. Essure is basically a device they put in your fallopian tubes to cause scarring to block them off. It is less invasive than having your tubes tied.

I had the copper IUD put in a few months ago, and I've had no side effects. Good luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi S.,

Aren't these symptoms so much fun! Not!

I'm turning 50 at the end of the year, still having regular periods, although things are changing, and have not used any form of birth control in years.

About 3-4 years ago, my husband and I were trying for another baby. We did fertility treatments, unsuccessfully, and then decided to stop trying.
My RE said that I didn't need to use any birth control, that the chances of conceiving were exceptionally low. I didn't want to be on the pill any more since I had taken it long-term in my 20s and 30s.

I know there is always a chance of conception if you are still having regular periods, but the chances are very, very low, and the chance of a viable pregnancy at this age is even lower.

You have one more year with the pill, so you're good for now. See what happens during this year. Even though you are predisposed toward a late age menopause, it doesn't mean you'll go all the way to 58. In the meantime, have another talk with your dr. about options. If you don't have any of the risk factors (other than age), she may consider giving you one more year of the pill after this one. Or, you may not even need it.

If you went the sponge route, like another poster mentioned, you'd most likely not have to use it all the time. So, maybe that could be an option.

Wishing you the best with this.

J. F.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi S.,

how about an IUD?
Nothing to remember, no hormones (if you get a plain copper one - there are also IUDs with hormones).

S.

2 moms found this helpful

Go to a different OB/GYN. One that does more menopausal stuff. Mine had some that were specifically for this time of life. They were made to help with the symptoms and other stuff. Mine were low dose but they had other stuff in them to help with the symptoms such as hot flashes and weight gain.

You cannot demand this boyfriend do anything. He would be totally within his rights to dump you. You could simply chose to get the Essure procedure done and then it would not matter if you were on BC or not. Your body and preventing pregnancy is your own job, not the man's job in any way.

Finding a doc who knows what to do for a menopausal stage of life is more important.

2 moms found this helpful

Why not go with the non-hormonal IUD, then?
Insertion is around $700, and it's good for 10 yrs, and it has a lower failure rate than BC pills.

1 mom found this helpful

Speaking from a girl that has been married for 14 years and certainly does know how to give every relationship all it can get no matter what. . . I ABSOLUTELY agree with you that I'd move along if me and my guy couldn't get on the same table about birth control. You are absolutely right that you could get pregnant and it has happened and who wants to be that girl? I wouldn't want to be either. So if some guy didn't want to get snipped or make some sacrifice for OUR life... I'd ditch his butt too. I get so sick of BC being our problem not to mention. I think at that age it could become HIS problem if he can't wear a condom especially considering it is recommended that women get off hormone birth control.

1 mom found this helpful

S., you're about to go through menopause. You might make it till 58, but that's abnormal. I thought my period would go on forever, but it suddenly stopped completely at 52.

I would just use some old-fashioned kind of b.c., like a condom or diaphragm (do people still use those?) until nature takes its course.

1 mom found this helpful

Sorry about your mom:( How much would a IUD be? Why won't your doctor prescribe pills after the age of 52?

1 mom found this helpful

I got off hormonal birth control in my thirties because it was wrecking my body. Have used condoms ever since.
If the guy won't wear one, he doesn't get laid - oral or a hand job yes, penetration, no.

I use Naprotechnology. It works wonderfully and has absolutely no bad side affects.

I realize I am late to the conversation here, but to the people here that are comparing a Vasectomy to a Hysterectomy...try GOOGLE before you post.

A Vasectomy is a quick 15 minute Clinic procedure, with minimal recovery time and it's also REVERSIBLE in most cases, even though it's meant to be permanent. Not to mention, there is no physical cause for sexual dysfunction associated with vasectomy, which is what most men are afraid of.

A Hysterectomy is a compete removal of the female reproductive organs, which will put the body into menopause whether it's ready for it or not. Also, it's COMPLETELY PERMANENT.

I think what you're really trying to suggest is a Tubal Ligation. If you do any kind of research before you have a medical procedure done, you would know a Tubal Ligation comes with a few dozen unfortunate side affects ranging from extremely painful periods, to chronic fatigue, to memory loss, to depression, muscle & joint damage, chronic/permanent vaginal dryness, loss of libido and more all from the body's shocking loss of hormones.

You know what loss of libido means right? Combine that with chronic vaginal dryness and any kind of sexual relationship goes right out the window.

I don't think it's too much to ask that your partner of 5 years at least pretend that he's a responsible adult and use a condom. I would think that at his age, a Vasectomy wouldn't really be an issue. He should be relatively educated by now, don't you think?

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