Going off the pill at 50

cindy57September 1, 2007

Hi, I'm so glad this forum is here. Normally I go into the rose forum but never dreamed this one was on the gardenweb. Anyway I have been on Birth Control Pills for the last 30 years and was told one month before my 50th birthday to go off the pill due to high blood pressure.

I'm trying to find women who have experienced the same thing I'm going through now. I have been off for two months now and am experiencing hot flashes and night sweats. My gyn Doctor gave me a perscription for synthetic progesterone and told me to take it for three months or until I got my first period. Well after researching this drug I decided to go the natural route and use Natural Progesterone Cream. I have been using it for 21 days on and 7 days off like you would taking the pill. I still have'nt got my period and plan on using the cream one more month. My blood pressure has become lower but it is still not in the normal range. My question is How long did it take for the pill to get out of your system and lower your blood pressure (my doctor says 6 weeks) but I think I should give myself another month before going on blood pressure medicine. 2nd question is am I using the progesterone cream right and how long can I keep using it whether I get a period or not. I'm hoping some one out there has gone through this same thing and can shed some light on my problem

Thanks.

Cindy

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catherinet

Hi Cindy,
I'm sure being on the pill all those years might cause you to never have "normal" hormones before menopause sets in.
If I were your doctor, I would, at some point, do a transvaginal ultrasound, to check the thickness of your uterine lining.

My feelings about hormones are that when you make a change, you need to wait at least 2 months to see what its going to be like on or off them. But also, since you've been on BC so long, I think it might take alot longer for your body to adjust.....since you will probably be going through perimenopause too.......which will really confuse the issue.
Sorry I can't advise you about the cream, but since people usually have a progesterone deficiency, I would say you are safe continuing to use it.
I think its going to be a rough ride for you for awhile, while your hormones try to stabilize. Not to scare you, but my hormones have been trying to stabilize for about 10 years.
If you have too rough a ride, maybe your doc would consider putting you on a patch. My doc said that patches are smoother, and they can be cut into smaller patches, while you're trying to come off them.
Good luck Cindy. Its not easy being a woman!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 6:54AM
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cindy57

Thanks Catherinet for answering me. So far I'm not having to bad of a time of it. The hot flashes and night sweats are tolerable. I worry about my blood pressure the most since If it doesn't come down soon I will have to bite the bullet and go on high blood pressure medicine (they said going off the pill would lower it). I just ended my 2nd month with no period and I can live with that also I just wasn't clear on if I should still use the progesterone cream during the 3rd month. I personally don't think it would hurt and it might just be helping me cope with the hormone im-balance issue.

Thanks
Cindy57

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 3:38PM
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cecilia_md7a

Cindy, I'm 51 and in a similar situation, but my experience has been completely different from yours! At least you seem to be actually going through menopause.

After more than 30 years on birth control pills, my Dr. took me off them because I've developed hypertension, as you have. Trouble is, I'm STILL not menopausal, as far as I can tell. I started my period a month to the day after going off the pills! Dr. had scheduled me to get a lab test to check my hormone levels, but I'm waiting for a callback from her to see whether this is necessary. I don't know whether the period was due to "leftover" pill hormones in my system or what.

Dr. says there's extremely little chance of my becoming pregnant at my age, but that I should use OTC contraceptives for now - so I'm using the sponge. (Easy to insert, by the way, but not so easy to remove!) DH says he'll get a vasectomy if his insurance will pay for it.

Hmm. Makes me wonder what the record is for latest menopause. My Dad says my late Mom didn't go through it until her mid-50s. I hope I won't have to wait until I'm 60.

As Danny Glover said in a different context, "I'm too OLD for this S%#t!"

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 8:39AM
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cecilia_md7a

Well, I just heard from my Dr, and she says that I'm definitely not menopausal yet, and that I can go back on the pill as long as my Primary Care professional keeps monitoring my blood pressure and it remains normal while on my medication. So, here we go again ...

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 10:55AM
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cindy57

Hi Cecilia thanks for writing me and letting me know your situation with going off the pill. I'm in the middle of my 3rd month and still no period. I haven't taken the natural progesterone for the last week and a half and hot flashes and night sweats are worse. I also have a problem with vaginal dryness that is starting to flare up so yes it looks like i'm perimenapausal/menapausal. Took my blood pressure a week and a half ago and it is still high 148/82. It was 158/95 while on the pill. It's come down some and I'm giving it till the end of this month before going on blood pressure meds. I am confused you said you were asked to go off the pill because of hypertension how high was your blood pressure? I would think at your age and with hypertension with or without menopause symptoms they would make you stay off. Yes the pill was definately masking my menapause symptoms lucky for me drat this high blood pressure.........

Cindy57

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 5:54PM
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cindy57

Hey Cecilia I forgot to mention birth control. What a bother. We have tried the sponge, condom, film, foam and jelly and I liked the foam the best until it started burning after awile. Now using the jelly. Being on the pill I never thought much in the last 30 years about contraception just to make sure I took that little pill every night. I know it's unlikely for someone my age to get pregnant but whoa not me not now my husband and I are talking about buying a retirement home in the next 5 years not about putting another kid through college.

Cindy

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 6:01PM
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catherinet

Hi Cindy,

Have you checked your BP at home? Many of us get "whitecoat syndrome" at the doc's and it doesn't reflect our usual BP.
I would definitely try other ways of lowering my BP before going on meds. Some people are really sensitive to salt and can bring their BP down just by backing of the salt. Also......how's your weight? Losing weight can bring it down too.
There can be side-effects to BP medicine that you might not like. Personally, I would try the other methods first.
You were on the pill a long time. Since your BP isn't dangerously high right now, I would give it more time, while doing some of the other things (including more excercise).
I got hypertensive during perimenopause and was put on a beta blocker. After 5 years on it, I decided to come off, since my BP was doing okay. It took my heart months to quit racing. So I would really try the other things first.
Some women miss several periods, then have a big one. This can go on a long time. Chances are, your endometrial lining is building up with blood and just not letting it go. I think you would be fine to use the progesterone cream.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 7:45PM
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cindy57

Hey Catherinet thanks for writing back. Well apparently my blood pressure has been high for several months even years. Because I'm thin 125lbs and 5 7' my internest let me stay on the pill not realizing my blood pressure was high. It seems her nurse couldn't read/hear my blood pressure right because of my thinness. It wasn't until I was having female problems and went to a Gyn Dr that It was discovered. Around that time i also had an carotid artery ultrasound and was told it was high. I went to a surgeon for my carotid artery and was told it was high a few months later i gave blood and was told it was high, I went to several pharmacies and took pressure on machines and it was high. I went back to GYN and it was still high that's when she told me to go off the pill asap. I was floored I had all these people tell me it was high and it just didn't click with being on the pill. Went back to my Internest and nurse took it everything ok then got the doctor in and it was high she took it on both arms that's when we discovered I really had high blood pressure and her nurse was reading it wrong.

cindy

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 7:44AM
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cindy57

Hi Catherinet, I was reading what I wrote previously and noticed lots of words spelled wrong and choppy sentences. Just wanted you to know that I wrote that early this morning before work. I only had 5 minutes to gather my thoughts and write. Anyway thank you again for making me feel better. I agree that my body is messed up and I just need to give it time, let the pill get out of my system.
The problem is my doctor knows that I have a family history of heart disease and with my unexplained 50% blockage in both carotid arteries (no plaque build up) I don't know how long I will be able to fend her off from making me take blood pressure medicine. I started back on the progesterone cream last night it just seems to help with the hot flashes and night sweats they are starting to get to me and I have only been living with it for 2 1/2 months no wonder my friend and sister both are taking hrt they both said they couldn't deal with it anymore.

Thanks again for your advice, I'm off to the vitamin store for more cream.

Cindy

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 7:48PM
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leeannkl_hotmail_com

Very interesting ladies,am going thru similar things myself.Am 50,been on pill over 30yrs,have had high blood pressure since i was 30 and been on medication for that.My BP sometimes goes as high as 210 ova 110 for no apparent reason so of course have been advised to go off the pill,have only been off 4 days now and dont know what to expect.Already not feeling great.As for menopause have felt like i've been going thru it for 2yrs but blood tests dont pick that up till i've been off pill for 2mths.Really dont know what to expect and alittle worried.Must say the whole thing is abit sucky.Good luck ladies.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 8:19PM
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lindamcmurdo_yahoo_com

Turning 50 next month and been on/off the pill over 30 years. Thinking of going off the pill after my 50th birthday. I am glad to read all your comments above to give me some kind of general idea as to what to expect.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 11:48AM
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doey47

HI GALS, i am 47 and recently got off the pill after being on since i was 20. off twice to have my 2 kids. i went off this march and have not had my period yet. i know i'm having the peri symptoms, hot flashes and did have one night i woke up drenched. just lovely!!! all i can think about is , Lord it would be scary to get pregnant now that both kids are grown and gone. thanks to all you laides for describing what i've gone through. i also had elevated blood pressure so was told getting off the pill would help. it did. its back to the norm now. i get phantom perids as someone else deseribed them as. i get cramps just like i'm about the get a period and then no period. just waiting around to get a one. seems sooooo strange after all these years.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:50PM
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buyorsell888

I went off the pill at 47 or so because I have high cholesterol and cannot take statins and am overweight so would be stroke risk. I also have hormonal migraines. My blood pressure went up and stayed up. I never had high blood pressure. I avoided blood pressure pills for over a year before giving up and taking them. I'm on a beta blocker (Atenolol) now as the calcium channel blocker (Lisinopril) gave me even more migraines.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 10:15PM
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Linda7777

13 months ago, my doctor, told me to go off the pill for no real reason except that I was 53. She did an FSH test and decided i was perimenopausal. Within one month I was right back to my somewhat, unpredictable cycle that I had lived with for years before going on the pill at 48 years of age. I am fed up with the not knowing when it's going to happen...I've had 11 periods in the past year and because I have no warning signs (didn't have them before either), I have returned to having my clothes ruined as a result of the accidents, not to mention the odd embarrassing situation. I didn't start my periods till I was 32 (there was no medical reason for the delay - just my body and how it wants to work). When I contacted my doctor's office to renew (reinstate) my prescription (which is a low-dose form), she refused. I am sure I am still ovulating and at this age absolutely do not want any surprise children (I don't have any and don't want any - neither does my partner). I don't smoke and have no other health issues; eat healthy, etc. I finally managed to get an appointment with my doctor and will be giving her one chance to hear me out. I travel a fair bit and have a very busy life (not stressful - just very busy) and having to worry about unpredictable accidents is not something I need. Guess I just thought I'd share my own experience. I do hope that just because I didn't start my periods til I was in my 30s; that I don't have to wait till I'm in my 80s to go thru menopause! haha

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 11:52PM
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doey47

hey gals, It took 6 months after quitting the pill, but i finally got a period. i really thought it was DONE. guess it really does take quite some time for our bodies to adjust to such a major change after so many years on the pill. we'll see how this goes.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 10:43PM
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hotnflashy

FYI....being on the pill you have a 1% chance of getting pregnant, being OFF the pill at age 50 you have less than a 1% chance of getting pregnant (your eggs are no longer good and without IVF, almost impossible for you to become pregnant. NO GYN would want a woman in her late 40's who has hypertension to be on birth control...VERY HIGH risk of stroke! As far as being on the pill to regulate your cycle, deal with it...wear a pad, you don't want to increase your risk of stroke/death to just be able to determine when you will get your period. I am 47 and on a low dose pill for high blood pressure and have just gone off the pill (about 6 weeks ago, still no period and yes, I too have been getting the hot flashes and night sweats, but I can deal with it.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2012 at 9:18PM
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cindy57

wow I can't believe I started this thread almost 6 years ago. So much has changed in that time. I went on HBP meds and am still on them along with medication for high cholesterol. I finally got a period 9 months after discontinuing birth control pills. I went the next 4 years only having one period every 11 months. My husband and I gave up on practicing safe sex and trusted the dr. that I wouldn't get pregnant.

I am now into my 2nd year of not having a period at all. My hot flashes and night sweats were tolerable but the vaginal atrophy was unbearable and for the last 5 years I have been using estrace cream then estring and now femring which i really love. My hf & ns are controlled by femring (I am so enjoying that!).

I think the down side of me being on the pill for 30 years is exactly what catherinet mentioned so many years ago in her posts above. My uterine wall has thickened and now I need a biopsy and d&c to take care of it. (there is the scare of Cancer, so hoping biopsy is normal).

So would I do it again and stay on the pill that long? I don't think so. I have already cautioned my 30 year old daughter not to do it. Going off after being on for so many years threw me for a loop and I wish I could have experienced perimenapause /menapause at a much slower pace lol

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 7:36PM
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pattimac0000

I have been off my seasonal bc pill for about 15 days at the age of 52 after taking some type of pill for 31 years, with no pregnancies. I have no idea what to expect. I have recently developed high blood pressure and also have developed IBS supposedly but also my doctor found DPL which are benign tumors on my stomach lining due to years of being on bc pills which may be the reason for my stomach discomfort not IBS. Anyone out there with similar circumstances? I would love to hear from you.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 10:53PM
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Melissa1893

I am about to turn 41, My doctor recommended I get off the pill since Ive been on them since I was 20 years old. My blood pressure is good, I am overweight and feel like my hormones are all over the place, I was tested and he said I am not in menopause. I also have been taking prozac for about 6-7 years for pmdd. (severe pms) I am tired of putting all this crap in my body and worried of the long term effects. Before going on the pill my periods were very painful, but basically regular give or take a few days. I want to stop because I want my body to adjust to being normal before I go into manaupause I also would like to get off the prozac just to see what a normal me feels like. Im kinda scared to make the switch. What do you think?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 10:18AM
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