3 Things To Know About Birth Control and Menopause - Famasi Africa
Menopause is that time in a woman's life when she loses her childbearing fertility. It starts within 12 months after the last menstrual cycle. And the transition often begins between the age of 45 and 55
When it comes to women's health, there are many discussions. One of them is birth control. And its evolving nature makes it one of the most confusing topics.
This is because hormones in our bodies don't react the same from person to person. There are often differences. And birth control has a significant influence on other health experiences, like menopause.
In this article, we'll discuss the following:
- The meaning of menopause
- Signs of menopause while on the pill
- Whether birth control causes early menopause
- Whether birth control delays menopause
What is the meaning of menopause?
For a woman to be pregnant, she must have eggs that can be fertilized by sperm. But before fertilization, the immature eggs stay in the egg follicle, which is in the ovaries.
The ovaries need estrogen to grow the egg follicle. But when a woman is close to menopause, her estrogen level significantly drops. This makes it almost impossible to be pregnant.
Thus, menopause is that time in a woman's life when she loses her childbearing fertility. It starts within 12 months after the last menstrual cycle. And the transition often begins between the age of 45 and 55.
Signs of menopause while on the pill
Women may experience menopausal symptoms while on the pill, but this doesn't mean that their birth control is ineffective. Most women who still have regular menstrual periods and have taken birth control as directed can remain on their current prescriptions.
However, if you're experiencing unusual symptoms, you should talk to your Care Specialist about changing your birth control method.
The most common signs of menopause while taking the pill include:
- Hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, and sleeping problems.
- Irregular periods that become heavier or lighter than usual.
- Vaginal dryness and pain during sexual intercourse.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's best to speak with your health care provider about whether the pill is right for you.
But if you're using hormonal birth control, you may not experience these symptoms of menopause because the hormones in your birth control should keep your levels of estrogen steady.
Can birth control cause early menopause?
You may have heard that taking birth control can cause early menopause. This misconception has been floating around for years, but there's no evidence linking them.
The change in hormones caused by birth control has no effect on when your menopause will start.
For example, some women go through changes in hormone levels during perimenopause — a period before menopause officially begins. It's normal for your period to become irregular during this time.
Because hormonal contraceptives influence your menstruation, a sudden stoppage in intake may seem like you've skipped perimenopause altogether and started menopause. This is common when you've been taking your contraceptive for a long time.
But it's just your body's natural response to the sudden lack of synthetic estrogen and progestin or progesterone. Your period will stop until your body adjusts to being without the birth control hormones.
In some cases, this can mean having no more periods for several months before they start again. Your menstruation will then continue normally until natural menopause occurs.
Can birth control delay menopause?
No, birth control cannot delay menopause.
The hormones used in contraceptives regulate your menstrual cycle — they don't prevent menopause.
For example, birth control pills work by preventing ovulation (releasing an egg from your ovaries). The pill also changes the lining of your uterus and thickens cervical mucus to make it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg that may be released during ovulation.
The role of birth control methods, even outside contraceptive functions, doesn't include delaying menopause.
Women today have many options for birth control. From the pill to the contraceptive patch to injections and more, it's up to you to decide which contraceptive method is best. If you find that birth control pills are no longer effective for you, don't be afraid — there are plenty of other birth control options out there.