Ask Dr. Deep : What is the best type of birth control to use if I am an older woman (over 35)?
For most women 35 and older, hormone-based birth control methods (like the the daily oral contraceptive pills, the implant, and the injection) are safe — but there are risks if you smoke or have a history of certain health conditions.
If you smoke: If you smoke and take birth control pills or any hormonal contraceptive method, your health risks increase greatly after 35. Don’t use contraceptive products that contain estrogen. Smoking interacts with estrogen in the arteries in a way that increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. Research has shown that the risk becomes statistically significant after the age of 35 — probably because women are at a higher risk for a number of health conditions as they age.
If you have these other health conditions: Talk to your doctor about the possible risks if you have severe diabetes, hypertension, migraine headaches, and liver or bladder disease. Your doctor will be able to provide you with an appropriate medical feedback and the recommend a choice for an effective modern contraceptive method that would work best for you.
Progestin-only contraceptive birth control methods tend to be much safer to use for women over 35 years of age. Modern contraceptive options that only have progestin include contraceptive injections and the contraceptive implant. Some oral contraceptive pills also are progestin-only, but it is best to check with a certified health care provider to identify which ones. All of these options are safe for women over 35.