Birth Control Pills In Perimenopause - The Top Reasons Your Gynecologist Prescribes Them

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Point of view:  You’ve just left your gynecologist’s office after explaining the various changes you’ve noticed with your body- heavy periods, poor sleep, hot flashes, weight gain, low energy, worsening PMS. You now have a new prescription for birth control pills. Since you don’t want contraception, you’re feeling misheard, confused and frustrated. Sound familiar?

This is a very common scenario for perimenopausal women! Although you may not need birth control for contraception, there are many reasons why menopause specialists recommend birth control pills for management of perimenopause symptoms. As long as you don’t have any medical conditions and do not smoke, The Menopause Society supports the use of birth control pills until age 55.

Here are the top 4 reasons why you may want to consider birth control pills in perimenopause:

  1. Heavy and irregular periods-  Feeling like a teenager getting her first period again? This is because, in perimenopause, you are no longer ovulating regularly- which is the hallmark of perimenopause. Taking birth control pills can lighten and regulate periods, making them way less inconvenient! You may even choose to skip your period completely- an entirely safe option that can significantly improve your quality of life.
  2. PMS-   PMS symptoms such as mood swings, low mood, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness can all worsen during perimenopause. No fun, considering these symptoms could last for up to 2 weeks out of the month! Taking birth control pills continuously to skip your period will prevent the hormone fluctuations that cause those pesky PMS symptoms.
  3. Menopause symptoms-   Think of perimenopause as a rollercoaster of hormones, which is why you will still have your period but also experience all of those fun menopause symptoms! Combination birth control pills have both estrogen and progesterone, which keeps your hormone levels balanced day-to-day and will treat perimenopause symptoms that are caused by your fluctuating estrogen levels.
  4. Contraception- Although your chance of conceiving is lower in perimenopause, it could still happen! If you are not planning a pregnancy, we recommend continuing some form of contraception until age 55 or until you enter menopause.

Your perimenopause journey is yours, and yours alone! Treating menopause symptoms requires a bit of trial and error to get it just right. As menopause specialists, we want to make sure you are informed on all of your possible treatment options, and birth control pills could be the perfect fit for you.

Emilie McLain, DNP, APRN, WHNP, MSCP

Emilie McLain, DNP, APRN, WHNP, MSCP