And yet, if we are fortunate to live long enough, many of us will endure at least some of these of these symptoms at perimenopause and menopause. Erratic and dropping estrogen is the primary culprit behind many menopause symptoms.
Before reproduction shuts down for good at around age 51, rises and dips in hormone levels are responsible for the emotional and physical roller coaster ride many women experience, starting as early as their mids. One way to manage many perimenopausal symptoms may be a treatment you thought you were done with: So if you engage in intercourse with men, some sort of birth control is called for. After teens, perimenopausal women have the second highest rate of unintended pregnancies.
Low-dose birth control pills can help ease the perimenopause transition for many women by regulating hormones. This can reduce hot flashes, ease mood swings, lessen the menstrual flow, regulate erratic periods, and lessen the impact of endometriosis. According to Harvard Health, birth control pills may also reduce vaginal dryness and prevent bone loss , all while protecting you from endometrial and ovarian cancers and those unintended pregnancies.
And, WebMD adds, low-dose birth control pills may also help stave off colorectal cancer. Risks of low-dose birth control? Because the amount of hormones is so low, and because current formulations of the Pill are safer than previous versions, there are fewer side effects and risks to fear. The risk of increased breast cancer is still a subject of some debate, particularly when it involves women who are older possibly because they started with the riskier, higher-dose oral contraceptives that were available when they were younger or who have a family history of breast cancer.
Migraines may worsen with hormonal birth control , and the possibility of blood clots does still exist for some. Pills containing estrogen are not advised for those at risk of cardiovascular disease or hypertension or for those who smoke. Finally, research is being done to determine if birth control pills contribute to vaginal atrophy and painful sex.
When can I go off birth control? At that point, some research indicates, a woman can transition from oral contraceptives to HRT hormone replacement therapy , if she decides to go that route.
There are natural ways to manage menopause symptoms that are highly effective for some women. There are lifestyle choices that can make life during this challenging time easier for others. And for some women, there are birth control pills. To understand your potential risks and benefits, talk to your doctor.