A recent survey of general practitioners found that 54% are reluctant to prescribe a combined oral contraceptive to a healthy woman over the age of 35. A further 35% felt that women should have stopped using these preparations by the age of 40.1 Menstruation ceases at an average age of 51 (45–55). Hormones for contraception are therefore seldom prescribed for women between the ages of 40 and 50. Women would benefit from clear information on effective, safe methods of contraception for these years. This article focuses on the choice of an oral contraceptive for those women wanting one at this time.
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