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Too old for combined pill!!

(12 Posts)
ratbag Fri 15-Aug-03 14:36:56

Just been to the doctors this morning to discuss changing my contraception, I'm currently taking the mini-pill as I was breast-feeding. I wanted to try the new contraceptive patch which is basically the combined pill in a patch form but when the doctor realised that I'm the ripe old age of 37 she said I couldn't have the combined pill in any form! I don't smoke, and am perfectly fit and healthy but this doesn't matter - all that counts is that I'm too old! Apparently there is no way my surgery will prescribe the combined pill once you reach 35, are all doctors the same? I'm fed up with having to remember to take my pill at the same time each day and really thought that the patch would be ideal. Please tell me I'm not over-the-hill yet lol!

Davros Fri 15-Aug-03 15:12:44

I take it and I'm 43!! No-one has said anything to me and I had to review it recently after having baby 5 mos ago. Would be interested to know if there are genuine issues as maybe I should change?! I found mini-pill impossible some years ago. Thought I was intelligent, together and organised person but just COULDN'T remember to take it at the same time.....

taboo Fri 15-Aug-03 23:18:09

ratbag I can't believe that - I'm about to turn 38 (tomorrow!) and no doctor has ever said anything to me like that before. I took the combined pill for a few months after ds was born, but I tend to get chloasma from the oestrogen (sp?), so I am back on the mini pill. I take it the doctor thinks the mini pill is safe...? I have never heard about an 'age limit' for the pill before.

mears Sat 16-Aug-03 00:00:02

You are at an increased risk of developing blood clots on the combined pill the older you get. Your doctor is just trying to prevent you from risking your health. Better remembering to take the pill every day than having a pulmonary embolus unfortunately

wobblymum Sun 17-Aug-03 02:25:41

You can have a progesteron-only injection. That would still let you go without remembering to take pills. Would that be an option?

hmb Sun 17-Aug-03 08:39:41

When I was woking for a company that made the combine pill many years ago the advice was that a woman could take the combined pill up to the menopause *if* she had no other risk factors for blood clots. So if you are not over weight, don't smoke and have no family history of blood clotting problems them you should be OK. Any of these and you should stop in late 30s-40. A warning on this though, this was a while ago and the medical information may have changed since that time. It might be helpful if you contacted a family planning clinic to ask for the current advice on this subject.

florenceuk Sun 17-Aug-03 12:11:00

Ratbag, I wonder if this is some sort of guideline that has been passed down to the ranks? I also am terrible at remembering to take the mini-pill at the same time every day, and asked about going back to the combined pill - but was told no as I am over 35. I think I will worry about this a bit more later, for now I wouldn't mind if I did get pregnant so I don't mind the odd missed day.

hmb Sun 17-Aug-03 13:17:22

Just found this on the Marie Stopes website

'Considerations: a full medical history is essential as this pill is not suitable for women who have certain conditions such as high blood pressure, circulatory disease or diabetes. Women over 35 who smoke or are very overweight would be advised to choose another method of contraception. There are several different types of pill so if one does not suit you then another might. The combined pill is not reliable if taken over 12 hours late or if you have vomiting and diarrhoea, when extra protection is required. Some drugs like antibiotics can also affect its reliability. Some women experience side effects such as nausea, headaches and weight gain. The pill offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases/HIV/AIDS'

So from this I would think that the combined pill is OK over 35 unless you have other risk factors eg smoking or weight.

aloha Sun 17-Aug-03 15:51:15

No, not all doctors are the same. I take it and I'm 40. Your doctor is wrong. If you don't smoke and aren't overweight (very overweight) and have a history of blood clots the patch should be absolutely fine. YOu could always change your doctor.

aloha Sun 17-Aug-03 15:52:07

Or you might try the Mirena coil which lots of people here really rate. Depends if you want more babies, really.

Pimpernel Sun 17-Aug-03 21:51:29

ratbag, if the problem is that there is an increased risk of blood clots when you are older, I think I'd want to ask the doctor to quantify the risks for me. Then I could make a decision based on an actual comparison of the risk in the general population, the risk for me on that pill, the risk on other pills, and the risk if I was pregnant, for example.

It seems a bit paternalistic (if a female GP can be paternalistic?!) for the surgery to make the decision for you rather than you making the decision yourself.

ratbag Thu 21-Aug-03 16:25:23

Thanks to everyone for their comments. I have been thinking about the Mirena coil, but I'm not sure about having something so invasive - still pretty undecided. I'm generally pretty happy with the mini-pill as I had lots of problems with breakthrough bleeding on the combined pill (and I've tried several), but I wanted to try the patch as it is something you can forget about from week to week but is instantly reversable (the reason I dislike the thought of the injection).

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