TABLE OF CONTENTS
How to Navigate
Changes at Midlife
Sexual Problems at Midlife
Causes of Sexual Problems
Reminders & Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
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Although fertility falls during perimenopause, women are not fully protected from an unplanned pregnancy until they have reached menopause, which means 12 straight months without a period. Even if you have a few months without a period, you can still get pregnant.
The bottom line is that you need to use an effective, safe, and appropriate method of birth control until menopause is confirmed if you don’t want to get pregnant at midlife.
Many choices for the midlife woman. Perimenopausal women can choose from a number of effective birth control options:
You need to use an effective, safe, and appropriate method of birth control until menopause is confirmed if you don’t want to get pregnant at midlife.
Natural family planning (the rhythm method) is not recommended for perimenopausal women because irregular periods make predicting ovulation difficult. Emergency contraception (one of the “morning-after” pills that actually can be used up to 72 hours after intercourse) is also available to provide backup after a contraceptive failure, but it is not recommended as regular birth control.
Remember that only one form of birth control—condom use—provides some protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Special considerations for hormonal contraceptives. There are several things about hormonal contraceptive use that are particularly pertinent for perimenopausal women: