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Ask Dr. Norm S. Your Own Question
Dr. Norm S.
Dr. Norm S., Board Certified OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 11252
Experience:  Over 30 years of experience in OB/GYN practice, including teaching students. Fellow of American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
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I am already 54 years old but still getting my period. I'm

Resolved Question:

I am already 54 years old but still getting my period. I'm wondering if my staying on contraceptive pills delay the onset of menopause?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: OB GYN
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 6 years ago.
Are you on contraceptive pills now? Thank you.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I've only started using pills about a year ago, and I'm still on them now.
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 6 years ago.
Menopause is when a woman's ovaries stop working and stop making hormones. While a woman is on the birth control pill, her ovaries aren't working, just resting. To know whether you're in menopause, you'd need to stop the pill and see if your ovaries made hormones. If you kept taking the pill for another 20 years, you'd be post menopausal, but you'd still have periods, because they would come from the hormones of the pill, not from your own hormones. Most women have menopause by the age of 55, so you may want to consider going off the pill at that age. Most likely your ovaries would not start working, and you'd be menopausal. Best regards.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I was under the impression that menopause starts when the last egg in the ovaries has been discharged, so that is not true? So the hormones from the pill is what is causing the uterus to get ready for a baby every month, even if there is no more egg?
Expert:  Dr. Norm S. replied 6 years ago.
It's true that menopause is when the last egg is gone. The eggs gradually die whether ovulation is going on or not. By age 55, usually all the eggs are gone, and menopause is here. The hormones from the pill are what is causing the uterus to bleed every month, even with no eggs. The uterus isn't really getting ready for a baby, but it does build up each month from the pill, and then bleeds.
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