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Birth Control Options for Women Over 35 Who Smoke

 
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We know smoking is bad for us, but we still deserve effective birth control options, without the lecture, right? There are about 20 percent of current smokers (women, ages 35-64 in the U.S.), who need to know how to prevent pregnancy with more options than just condoms.

Luckily, there are many contraception options for women over 35 who smoke. These women are advised to avoid hormonal contraceptives containing estrogen (including the combination pill, the ring, and the patch), as the risk for cardiovascular disease is highly increased.

Hormonal Methods:

Depo-Provera ("the shot" or "DPMA") contains progestin-only, and is a long-acting injection given every 3 months at your doctor's office. It is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

Mirena IUD: IUD (intrauterine device) is inserted into your uterus, and contains progestin-only. It is replaced every 12 years, and is more than 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

Implant: Contains progestin-only, and is a small matchstick-sized rod that is inserted into your inner upper arm, replaced every three years. It is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

ParaGuard IUD: Does not contain any hormones, and is inserted into your uterus, and replaced every five years. It is more than 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

Barrier Methods:

Diaphragm: Latex cup that is inserted into your vagina prior to sex. It contains no hormones, and is about 94 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

Female Condoms: Polyurethane condom that is inserted inside a woman's vagina prior to sex. It contains no hormones, and is 95 percent effective at preventing pregnancy.

Spermicides: Lotions, creams, gels, suppositories or vaginal film that contain substances that cause sperm to become immobile. They do not contain progestin or estrogen, and should be used in combination with other birth control methods, as they are closer to 85 percent effective (when used alone) at preventing pregnancy.

Add a Comment2 Comments

Hi Allison,
There are a number of natural family planning & fertility awareness methods out there that work well for women of all ages! In perfect use, the methods can be 95%+ effective. In typical use, w/ failure rates, they range from 75-88% effective. I know nfp & fam have been discounted in pop culture & by ob/gyns, but they truly are an overlooked & effective bunch. Billings Ovulation, Standard Days, 2-Day Method - there are a number of them! Wanted to put that out there. Thanks for the article!

May 13, 2011 - 7:26pm
(reply to RL)

You are right---that was an oversight on my part in writing the article. Thank you for your additional information, and feel free to provide more information about each family planning method.

May 15, 2011 - 8:05pm
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