Birth control question?

blsdgalJanuary 19, 2006

I know this is really personal, but what do you other "old gals" like me use for birth control?

I had a pg scare this month and need to use something more reliable that won't give me a blood clot or a stroke.

DH is 50 and says he is too old to get a vasectomy.

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Sorry I can't help, I had my tubes tied after my third child was born (no qualms, no regrets, no objections, no argument), and then menopause. Both are very effective!!

I got pregnant to easily and I didn't want any more children. A vasectomy was not even discussed, if it failed, I got pregnant, not him.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 10:15PM
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Just curious, but why does your dh think he's too old to get a vasectomy? Men in their 80's are able to get women pregnant, and I think your concerns are valid. I'd push him to get one, unless he just doesn't care about your health at all, just his.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 10:16PM
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Well, I had my tubes tied following the birth of my twins. I was 47 and my dh and I appear to be supercharged in the fertility department (in the words of my doctors) so it seemed wisest to take permanent action. Our dd was conceived while I was using...hmm, I can't remember what it was called. It was 3 letters, like VCF, and was a papery stuff that turned into a jelly film. We had a previous pg from a different bc method. We were actually trying the last time around because we wanted dd to have a sibling in her generation (she is 18 years younger than the next youngest) and we got twins. Because of my age, we lost a lot of pregnancies and I was very worried about genetic problems so we agreed that after the twins were born, either dh would get a vasectomy (he's 46) or I'd get my tubes tied. Since I had a CS anyway, it was easy to get the tubal at the same time.

I understand your qualms and fears. I couldn't take bc pills or other hormonal methods because of migraines. I hesitated for years about getting a tubal because I was single and thought I just might someday want more kids if I ever remarried. Oddly, I never thought of myself as terribly fertile - it took a long time to get pg in my first marriage - but the docs said that sometimes two people are a potent combination, while when paired with others they don't appear to be that fertile. That's me and my dh. Neither of us had surprise pgs until we got together :)

I would really try to reopen the discussion with your dh about a vasectomy. It is a relatively minor procedure that will save you tons of anxiety. A tubal for you is major surgery and it seems kind of unfair to put all the burden on you.

Good luck! I have btdt so I know it is a little disconcerting to consider such permanent solutions, even when you are fairly certain you are finished having children. I have no regrets at all, but of course at 47 and with 5 kids it wasn't a very difficult decision :)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 10:55PM
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I'm a nurse practitioner and I prescribe a lot of birth control. I second what seekingadvice said about vasectomy being a much simpler procedure than tubal ligation. Perhaps your husband would reconsider.

Otherwise, have you considered an IUD? IUD's got a bad rap back when but are very safe now, and very effective (considered by some to be "reversible sterilization"). There are a couple of different kinds available; your health care provider can help you decide which would be best for you.

I don't know how old you are, but many women in their 40s or even early 50s use hormonal methods such as pills or the depo-provera injection. You may have a medical reason why you can't, or you may just not want to, but I wouldn't rule it out just because you're one of us "old gals."

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. Talk to your healthcare provider.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 11:11PM
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If he thinks that 50 is too old for a vascetomy, then tell him that 50 is to old for sex.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 11:16PM
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Oh my gosh~ Seekingadvice I got pregnant using the same papery thing too!! Guess that's not good advertising. I was 34 and we were planning on a another child anyway just not so close in age (they're 18 months apart) but in the end we're happy it worked out, as they are best buddies, even act like twins.

Now for the answer to your question. My husband got a vasectomy, very simple procedure. I think your husband just doesn't want the surgery, I'm not a Dr, but I highly doubt 50 is too old for that, sounds like an excuse. Ask your Dr if he's too old.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 11:22PM
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My DH had a vasectomy years ago, and it was a pretty darned easy procedure for him..he had it done in his doctor's office. Ask your DH to reconsider, as it would definately be easier on him than it would be on you. My DH went out to dinner that night, and only complained about a mild soreness for a few days afterwards.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 1:39AM
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Hey skivino - maybe that's why you never hear of it anymore! :)

fairegold, ROTFLMAO!!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 1:49AM
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My husband and I are also supercharged, so to speak, in the pregnancy department. As soon as we wanted to get pregnant, I did, then within one month of stopping nursing my first, I got pregnant again, same thing after stopping nursing my second, then I got pg with twins! So, after nursing one of them for slightly over a year, I went to the doctor and got Mirena put in. It's an IUD that also has a general birth control time-released that doesn't affect the rest of my body (i.e. migraines, etc.). It lasts for 5 years, and my insurance covered the cost (approximately $700) completely. It was put in in July, and I've basically forgotten about it. Of course, you have to have had kids to have an IUD. The side benefit is that it reduces, and in some cases, eliminates, your monthly :-)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 6:24AM
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Fifty is too old for a minor outpatient procedure with a two-day recovery? Versus you pumping yourself full of chemicals for years or having surgery? My husband wavered briefly when the time came. I reminded him of the two high-risk pregnancies, the miscarriage (with DNC), both labors (one un-medicated and high-risk), the stitches afterwards, etc. A vasectomy was a walk in the park compared to any of that. A weekend on the couch with a bag of frozen peas is a small price to pay for never having to worry about birth control again. He made his appointment without a murmur. I think it helped that we knew other men who had vasectomies, and they all played macho about it (it wasnÂt a big deal, etc.).

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 9:32AM
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I like fairegold's answer. I, too am ROFL. (lunch hour, and they are wondering what the commotion is in my office!) But seriously, I think that IS what you should tell him!

so, I'm 44 and on bc pills, and want to get off. Just had the discussion with DH about it, and he agreed to surgery. Sorry I can't help. I've never used much of anything else.

I think if you get some medical advice on the risks, etc, of different BC and surgery for you versus surgery for him, and have a doctor who's sympathetic, he might be shamed into it.

When my husband asked his doctor to recommend a urologist, the doctor asked why, and them heaped him with praise for being such a considerate husband.

(OK, so now will he just make the ** appointment!! I've got the bag of frozen peas ready!)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 11:50AM
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Has anyone heard of the procedure where they insert a small coiled spring thing that wraps around your tubes? Supposedly, it's a "non surgical" ligation. The coils squeeze the tubes, and the tubes' tissue grows around them.

I have an IUD now, and have had no complaints, but it's nearing the end of what they told me the effective age would be, so I'm looking at new options.

If DH even *looks* at me I will get pregnant.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 2:02PM
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I agree with Fairegold, too. Sure it's his body, and he gets to decide what to do, or not do, with it. But same goes for you.

proudmama: You're right, Mirena is a fantastic option for many women. I just wanted to make one small comment on what you said, though. It's not true that only women who've had a baby can use an IUD. Many women who have never been pregnant use this method successfully, although there are some additional considerations, and some healthcare providers still won't do it. But I just wanted to throw that out there because I didn't want anyone reading this thread to be put off from considering an IUD just because they've never had a child.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 6:55PM
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count me as one! But OMG the pain (it did go away)!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 7:15PM
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I think condoms are great! How hip and sexually active I look purchasing the giant economy pack with multiple styles "for her pleasure", etc .

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 7:22PM
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I've heard of 'too young' for a vasectomy, but never 'too old.'

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 7:49PM
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I was specifically told by my health care provider that Mirena was only for women who'd had a full term pregnancy. But I'm glad to hear that's not the case. It's a wonderful product. I guess maybe the pain at insertion is greater if you haven't had a full term pregnancy, catluvr. I sympathize. I definately had full blown cramps for a couple days after. Susanfnp, thanks for the clarification.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 8:17PM
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I've never heard of IUDs being only for women that have already had a child. Certainly I've known them to be used in non-parents.

Testing is almost complete on a male birth-control pill, which is expected to become available in the US within the next few years. In the meantime, at least for me and also for a friend of mine who used it, Paxil proved effecive for that purpose, although that's not an indicated use.

If I could live my life over again, I would have got my vasectomy the day I turned 18....

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 8:47AM
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Too old for a vasectomy??!!! That is hogwash. I think a lot of men get verrrrrrrrrrry squeamish about anything sharp near their bits. Maybe he also thinks a vasectomy will affect his performance?

Anyway, it is a very, very simple procedure. A very small incision, then the doc pulls the vas deferens out just enough to cut and cauterize. My dad had it done on his kitchen table! (I'm not joking...his good friend is a surgeon.)

A tubal, on the other hand, is major surgery, at least it was when I got mine. I had it done 15 yrs ago, and was put completely under. I awoke in pretty severe pain - they were giving me small doses of morphine - and later I got sick from the anesthesia. I forget how long recovery was, but I know I had to be careful for at least a week or so.

reno fan - I got those "tube clamps". The doctor went in through the vaginal canal and through the uterus to do this, so I have no scars. I don't think it is done this way too often, laproscopic is probably more popular. Maybe that's why I was hurting so much -- they would have had to dialate me to get in there I think....

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 9:27AM
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What a bunch of great answers. You guys had me laughing and giggling like a kid. But Fairgold gets the prize!

As a matter of fact, that is exactly what I decided to tell my dh. He did agree to a vasectomy, believe it or not. Now, I just have to make the appointment.

I was 14 days late and think I probably had an early mc, so it's time to get serious here. I'm too old to risk this again.

Thanks for sharing all of your wisdom with me on this slightly embarassing post :)

You guys are the best.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 8:22PM
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Don't forget to 'make' him go in what, 6 weeks? for a re-test. Men who don't take the retesting seriously are sometimes called "Daddy."

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 9:07PM
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Yes, an acquaintance of ours who was told she should not have any more children due to severe back problems ended up having another because her husband never bothered to get retested.

I too am trying to convince my DH to get one. I think seeing how uncomfortable this last pregnancy is making me has convinced him. He did mentioned loading up on a few beers first - and he's not much of a drinker!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 12:10PM
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Hey Weed, could your Dad's friend give us a "Gardenweb Group Rate"? We could double up the meeting as a TKO get-together/vasectomy party, all of us bringing our spouses and taking turns splaying them out on the table! Hee hee!!

I'll bring the wine.....

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 7:41PM
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Hey, after my second horrendous, vomitous pregnancy, my dad offered to give my DH a vasectomy, free of charge. Um, my dad's an engineer.

With enough wine, Dad will do it!

A cheap merlot for us, Reno.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 8:37PM
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reno, Sounds like a fab plan, although I think we'd need a very special Gallery.... hehe.

pecan, I suppose your DH never took your dad up on the offer, and I can see why ;)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2006 at 10:11PM
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Weed30 (and everyone else), it is no longer even necessary to use scalpels or make incisions to have a vasectomy, as a new, proabably less painful precedure called NSV has become popular (I enquired about it years ago in this thread). See the links below for more information:

NSV technique
NSV procedure
NSV diagrams

Or you can just sit back and watch a video of an actual non-invasive vasectomy being performed.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 2:17AM
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Haha Weed, no, he didn't. We had DD2 a few years later!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2006 at 9:53AM
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I vote for the vasectomy. I had a tubal ligation and was in bed for 3 days. OUCH!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 10:08AM
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Super Ovulator here, the first time I did not use birth control in 20 years I got pregnant with triplets. I ended up getting my tubes tied, doctor said that if I got pregnant again, there was a 75% chance of multiples again. Just because I knew that if there is someone who could get pregnant after their tubes tied it is me, I had my husband get a vasectomy too. No chances here.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 12:48PM
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