Unplanned pregnancy affects all ages

Maternal mortality rates are the highest they've been in at least 12 years, according to a new report. Credit: Metro File Photo.
Just because you’re out of the common age window to get pregnant doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Credit: Metro File Photo.

There are around three million unplanned pregnancies every year in the U.S., and though it’s an issue often associated with teenagers, a proportion of women this happens to are older, and some are married.

“Anyone who is sexually active potentially can become pregnant,” Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, a Columbia University Medical Center professor of clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, reminds us. She gives us a refresher course on our options for making sure a baby doesn’t catch us by surprise.

Birth control pills: You can still take it well past your teen years, Dr. Hutcherson says. “It’s a safe option for women of all ages. Initially, when it was first passed, it was recommended for women until age 30, then it was age 35, but now most women can safely use it right into their forties until they reach menopause.”

The morning-after-pill: “This should only be used in emergencies and not relied on as a form of contraception,” Dr. Hutcherson says. “It should be used as soon after intercourse as possible.”

Condoms: “Condoms work great if people use them consistently and right from the beginning of intercourse. The female condom is wonderful: I thought it was going to be popular, but it’s large and makes slurping noises during sex. The newer ones are less noisy, but it’s not caught on.

IUDs: They’re convenient and have undergone major improvements, Dr. Hutcherson says. “Women stopped using IUDs because of infections, which caused infertility. But modern ones are smaller and improved. Even young women who haven’t had children can use them. They work well and you just leave them in place until you want to have children.”
Age ain’t nothin but a number
If you’ve hit menopause — no periods for 12 consecutive months — you can stop using contraception, Dr. Hutcherson says. But not a moment before! “Some women become relaxed because they think they’re too old to become pregnant. The chances are small, it’s less for women over 35, and even less for women over 40, but it isn’t zero.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."