As the pill and intrauterine devices [IUDs] become safer, women aged 40 and over might have access to more birth control options.

Past studies have shown that the risk of dangerous blood clots from birth control pill use rises sharply when women turn 40. This risk is higher for women who are overweight, since they are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes.

However, in recent years, the amount of estrogen in birth control pills has been reduced, and many doctors feel that low-dose formulas are safe for healthy older women.

Talk to your doctor about birth control options and whether or not you should take the pill. Also, women who are obese, smoke, have migraines or suffer from high blood pressure should note their increased risk and be sure to discuss these factors with their physicians.