My First Time: Getting Birth Control
Starting Birth Control Later in Life?
I have fibroids that cause heavy bleeding and pain. My doctor prescribed me low-dose birth control pills. I am 49 and have never taken them before. Is it safe? Is there anything I should be concerned about or aware of?
By Dr. Orli Etingin
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It is safe to use birth control pills to manage the bleeding of fibroids, which are experienced by many women in their 40s. Current pill preparations contain low doses of estrogen, which reduces the side effects. Nevertheless, you should be aware of the small risk of gallstones and the increased risk of blood clots, especially if you have ever had one or if there is a family history of developing blood clots, when you take the pill. On the plus side, the pill does not increase your risk of cancer when used for a few years to control cycle-related bleeding. So it's fine to take it until you hit menopause, as long as your doctor monitors you.
If you don't want to take birth control, there are various ways to surgically remove fibroids that you can consider.
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