Safe sex: not just for teenagers
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 - Conceivable?
© Doug Menuez
Last week, the FPA launched a campaign called Conceivable? in an effort to raise awareness about unintended pregnancy in women their late 30s and up.

“We’re not denying it that the older you get the more difficult it is to get pregnant, that’s a fact of life,” said Findlay. “But it’s not impossible. The discussion has become very polarized.”

One of the main obstacles facing women in this age group is that not only are safe sex campaigns geared almost exclusively toward teenagers and twenty-somethings, but so too are most family planning clinics.

“There is a lot of confused messaging going out to women as to what happens to their body before menopause,” said Findlay. “Then when they try to get to a service and the service is only for younger women, what does that say?”

But for many women in their 40s, safe sex is something they may not have had to think about for many years.

“Perhaps more partnerships are breaking up around 40, and people end up back in the dating area not having thought about it for some time,” said Szarewski. Women who do end up getting pregnant unintentionally at that age, she added, are very likely not to want the baby.

Yet they’re not being targeted with safe sex messages.

The high abortion rate among those in their early 40s is evidence of this, as are rapidly rising sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates in women in the same age group.


Samantha Fields
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