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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Apologies to those of you in the Wise Woman Forum who will be seeing this question twice. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:<br><br>
Ok, first of all, this question is for my beautiful mother. I am only 23 years old and have never been on hormonal birth control. Just thought I'd mention that to clear up any confusion before it starts.<br><br>
My mom is 44 years old and has been taking hormonal birth control for almost 20 years now. I have been begging her to stop taking the pill for many years, but she had it stuck in her head that the pill prevents menopause, and that if she stopped taking it, she would gain weight. My great-grandmother told her these things years ago, and Mom just wouldn't let go of them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
I've been using FAM as my sole form of birth control for coming up on four years. I've never used anything else. When I first started FAM, my mom constantly told me that I was going to end up pregnant if I didn't use "real birth control". Many arguments and tears ensued because of her refusal to do some research on FAM, and I was angry at her off and on for a while, but decided to give her some time to see that FAM is not the rhythm method...and that it works. I'm still not pregnant, lol, so I guess the proof is in the pudding! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Now, four years later, Mom has been making some positive changes in her lifestyle. She's been eating more organic food, trying to eat more fruits and veggies and whole grains (whereas previously her diet was Atkins-style and featured much red meat and very little veggies), even not yo-yo dieting as much as she used to. Today, though, my heart skipped three beats when she called me from work.<br><br>
She wants to stop hormonal birth control pills and start trying to chart using FAM. However, she doesn't just want to learn about using FAM for birth control...she wants to learn more about using it to conceive. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
(Side story: Mom is 44 and her husband is much younger than her, but they have been together for about five years now and they love each other tremendously. He has no children. He tells her that he doesn't want any children, but she thinks this is not quite true. She is afraid that one day he WILL want children, and she will not be able to have any. Mom has wanted another child for a few years now, but hasn't really thought about actually HAVING another one because her husband always says he doesn't want one. Now, their talks about children have changed, and although he still says no, she thinks he really DOES want one.)<br><br>
So she asked me to do some research for her. She wants to know what her chances of getting pregnant are now, at her age of 44, and after being on the pill for so long. She wants to know what she will go through when she stops taking the pill cold-turkey. She wants to know if she'll gain weight, grow hair, and have a higher risk of getting ovarian cancer (seriously--she has read that a low dosage of hormones can help prevent ovarian cancer, and someone told her that she will grow hair on her face if she stops taking the pill. ) She wants to know how safe having a baby at her age is.<br><br>
She is really afraid that it is just too late for her to have a baby. She doesn't think she's fertile anymore. I've told her time and time again that I know women in their late forties still having babies, but she says that they most likely weren't on birth control pills for 20 years. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
Anyway, the thing that probably sparked this whole change of heart is that yesterday she had a sharp pain in her left side and then had bright red spotting and some eggwhite cervical fluid. She has NOT stopped taking the pill yet, but this sounds like ovulation pain and spotting to me. Which is confusing, because I thought the pill stopped you from ovulating? In any case, she said this was her wake-up call to get off the pill for the health of her body, and perhaps for the health of her future baby if she can indeed still get pregnant.<br><br>
If you've read this far, thank you so much. If you can give me any personal experiences or advice, or even point me in the direction of some links regarding fertility after 40 and hormonal birth control, I (and Mom!) will be very grateful. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"><br><br>
Hope you all have a wonderful day!
 

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feminine_earth;9910283<br><br><br><br> She has NOT stopped taking the pill yet said:
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The pill does not stop ovulation 100%. Women may still occasionally ovulate and then the pill works by creating a hostile environment for the sperm and by making implantation of a fertilized egg (if that happens, and it definitely can with hormonal birth control) difficult (uterine lining thins).<br><br>
As far as conceiving at 44, it definitely is possible for some women! I have a friend who conceived at 44, almost 45. I would recommend that your mother see a fertility specialist though, due to her age. Good luck to her!
 

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She should be asking her ob-gyn these questions, not just hoping that internet searches will turn up full and accurate information! Even though she has probably well-placed confidence in your ability to do research, getting pregnant at 44 is not going to be even a tenth as easy as it was at 21!<br><br>
But briefly-- going off the pill shouldn't have any effect. I went on and off the Pill for a few years before I decided it wasn't very comfortable and nothing like weight gain or facial hair happened to me (condoms worked just fine.) Anyway it would probably be temporary if it happened. However, she should talk to her doctor if she has concerns like this.<br><br>
I felt compelled to write in, though, because at 44 your mother has NO TIME TO WASTE if she wants to have her own child. Absolutely no time. Even spending 3 months making up her mind may be too long. And she has to do a lot of research to make sure that she's trying to get pregnant effectively-- for instance if she's even considering having a child she had better take those daily folic acid supplements. She may look good, be healthy, menstruate regularly, etc. but those eggs age nevertheless. I hate to be so negative but I've seen a lot of pain from women who waited just a little too long-- the time goes by so fast. The worst situation I think is to get pregnant but not have it work out (higher probabilities as one ages)-- devastating and creates a hunger to have an own child which is hard to satisfy.<br><br>
Lots of women in their 40s are having babies. However, many of them are quietly using IVF and over 99% at 45 or older are using donor eggs, including celebrities. The IVF and donor egg routes are expensive and can be stressful, so IF your mother still has a chance (less than a one year window, if any) to do it naturally she had better grab it... talk to her ob-gyn, talk to a fertility specialist, get informed as much as she can through reading etc. Or if she may simply find peace in deciding that she will bypass the worries by deciding not to have more children.<br><br>
Best of luck to your mother, and I hope that she is happy with whatever she decides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Peacelovingmama and cleanjean, thank you both for the advice.<br><br>
I want to clear up, though, that my mom did ask these questions to her gyno--just yesterday in fact. She was only asking me to do additional research, and I like to be thorough. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
She is still not sure whether she would like another baby or not, and I have told her, as gently as possible, that she is quite possibly running out of time. I have adamantly recommended that she stop taking hormonal birth control pills and simply use condoms while she's "deciding" whether or not she wants to pursue possibly having another child.<br><br>
She told her gyno the same (that she's not sure if she wants another child), and from what Mom told me, the gyno basically told her to stay on birth control pills until she is 50 years old, switching to a name brand due to the breakthrough bleeding. Now, I'm a little upset that her doctor simply put the bleeding off as a result of using generic pills. The bleeding could be due to a number of things, and, in my opinion, some testing should have been recommended. But I wasn't there, and my mom trusts her doctor.<br><br>
I can only pass along the info to her...it is up to her to research more thoroughly and come to her own decision. We'll see what happens, I guess.<br><br>
Thank you again for your advice, ladies! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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