- Women’s Health
- Healthy Living
- Health Conditions
- Nurse Barb
Many women I speak to are surprised to learn that they can take birth control pills in their 40’s and early 50’s as long as there are no contraindications. Many women who are in Perimenopause, that is the time when there are a lot of menstrual irregularities, the start of hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, will benefit from taking a low dose birth control pill to help with their symptoms as well as provide contraception.
Fertility after 40
While fertility rates do decline after 40, if a woman is still having her period, even if it’s irregular, she can become pregnant. Contraception is advised if a woman does not want to become pregnant.
It’s estimated that 1.4 million US women will experience abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) each year. This includes an estimated 50% of women in perimenopause, who have an increased incidence of polyps, fibroids and who are not ovulating which leads to their AUB. In addition, over half of women with heavy menstrual bleeding report that their periods interfere with their lives compared to women with lighter cycles.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) defines Abnormal Uterine Bleeding this way
ACOG Definition of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding (AUB)
Bleeding that requires more than 1 pad/hour for more than 1 day
Bleeding for more than 7 days at a time
Bleeding intervals that are less than 20 days apart
Bleeding in excess of 80 cc a month
– a super tampon or pad can hold approximately 10 cc of blood
Bleeding that causes anemia
Bleeding that leads to disruption in life style
Source: ACOG, Committee Opinion. April 2013 (reaffirmed 2015), number 557.
This reminds me to add a few tips about your period and when to give your health care provider a call.
• Your daughter hasn’t had a period or shown any signs of puberty by age 14, including absence of:
– breast development
– underarm hair
– pubic hair
• There’s been a gap of greater than 3 months between periods
• Periods are occurring more frequently than every 21 days
• Periods are lasting more than 10 days
• The flow is so heavy, a tampon and/or a pad is getting soaked through in less than 1 hour, and this occurs for more than 1 day
This is a great video from Hello Flo! Click the image above or watch it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEcZmT0fiNM
1. What are some of the most common problems menopausal women complain of?
Nearly 3 out of every 4 women have hot flashes or night sweats. And most also notice many symptoms that they don’t complain about unless their health care providers ask:
• Sleep disturbances
• Weight gain
• Too much facial hair
• Changes in mood.
• Changes in sexuality
These all contribute to a change in a woman’s quality of life and the good news is that there are treatments, both hormonal and non-hormonal.
This is the first part in a multi-part series on PCOS. I care for many women with PCOS and they’ve told me that they can’t find information that’s easily understood available.
Finding out that you have PCOS can be overwhelming. I’ll be posting multiple articles on how to understand what’s going on, what you may notice and why. I’ll also cover weight loss strategies, fertility and how to combat acne and hair growth. (more…)
There’s one patient, Ellie (not her real name), who comes to mind whenever I think about how much things have changed in the last 20 years. I cared for 2 of Ellie’s 4 daughters during their pregnancies and really enjoyed their visits. I was happy to be the person who did their first ultrasounds and printed up photos of their babies. One day, the oldest daughter called me and asked if I’d be willing to see to her mother right away as she was visiting from out of town. She was concerned about her mother’s repeated blood transfusions for blood loss from heavy periods.