One of the main messages of the FPA is now trying to get out with its Conceivable? campaign is that there are many birth control methods out there, from the most well known, like condoms and the pill (of which there are actually 20 different types), to the lesser known or lesser understood, like the copper coil and shots.
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The vast majority of these are available to women over 35, though many assume otherwise. Take the combined pill, for instance. “The classic message is, the moment you get to 35 you can’t use it anymore,” said Findlay.
And while that is true for smokers, for women over 35 who are in good shape and don’t smoke, the pill is still a perfectly viable option. But even for those who can no longer take the pill, “there are so many new methods now,” Szarewski said. Many that weren’t available just 10 years ago.
She recommends women spend some time doing research and thinking about what method might best fit their needs, medical history and lifestyle.
“Women will spend weeks searching for the perfect coat and they give no thought at all to their contraception method,” Szarewski said. “You wouldn’t expect the perfect coat to roll up in front of you on the first try. I think you should be treating your contraceptive methods exactly the same.”
That goes for teenagers as well as those who have already hit middle age.
“If you’re still having a period, you’re still fertile,” said Findlay. “The bottom line is, if you don’t want to get pregnant and you haven’t gone through the menopause, you still need to keep using contraception.”