Problem is, going without isn’t a good choice, even as you get older: Nearly 40% of pregnancies among women in their 40s, for instance, are unplanned.
The good news is that there are more safe, effective contraception options than ever for women who may be done having children or who are 30-plus.
The combo Pill
Who can try it: Almost all women. Surprised? Truth is, a growing body of research debunks some myths surrounding this 99%–effective form of contraceptionlike the notion that it brings on menopause or ups the risk for some cancers. A recent meta-analysis in the The New England Journal of Medicine reveals that many women can safely take the Pillwhich serves up low doses of estrogen and progestin three weeks a month to suppress egg releaseright into menopause.
The Pill can ease maddening perimenopausal symptoms like hot flashes, hormonal mood swings, and irregular bleeding. What’s more, it may help prevent ovarian and uterine cancers, says study author Andrew M. Kaunitz, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Florida College of Medicine at Jacksonville. “The longer you’re on the Pill, the more protection you have,” he says. The protection against ovarian cancer extends some 30 years after you quit the Pill, according to a recent study in The Lancet. And the Pill does not cause breast cancer, Dr. Kaunitz says.