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    Birth control for 50 year old
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    An_241855 posted:
    I have not begun menopause and wonder how likely it is to become pregnant at 50 years old. My children are in their 20's and I had no trouble conceiving. Thank you for any advice.
    Reply
     
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    georgiagail responded:
    If you have not entered menopause and are not using birth control, conception is always a possibility.

    However, the viability of eggs tends to lessen from about the mid 40's on so while conception is certainly possible the risk of not being able to carry the pregnancy to full term increases.

    All the stories of "grannies" who have children in their middle aged years tend to involve women who had assistance with certain medications to achieve this.

    Gail
     
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    Bethany5000 replied to georgiagail's response:
    Thank you. I'm hoping to avoid pregnancy and trying to decide if I need contraception.
     
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    Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
    Dear An: Gail has spoken correctly (as usual). I would only add a couple of bits of additional information.

    As one moves into the perimenopause (average age for this is about 46 or 47), the increasing bursts of FSH can actually prompt several eggs/oocytes to mature at once. This account for the observed increase in natural twin births among women in their 40's. In GYN world we tell women to use some type of birth control for at least 12 months after your last natural period if you are around 50. For a women who becomes menopausal at age less than 40 she should continue to use contraception for at least two years.

    Because of the increased number of irregular and heavy menstrual periods in our 40's, many women will decide to use very low dose birth control pills. This assures good contraception and improved bleeding amounts.

    Bottom line, do not count yourself out when it comes to fertility. The second highest number of abortions (surrogate measure of unplanned pregnancies) are in women in their 40s!

    Yours,
    Jane


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