35 fertile years
A woman’s fertile years span about 35 years (from her first period between 11 and 15 years, until menopause at about 50). That’s a very long time, and it’s no surpise that women used to conceive about 15 times during their lifetime.
However, given that most couples today plan to have just one or two children, 35 fertile years means a long period of “control” and even with the many effective contraceptive methods available to us today, contraception may occasionally be overlooked, or not used effectively. Reliably and effectively preventing conception is all the more difficult because for most people sex isn’t something controlled by rational thinking – on the contrary, sex is a time when they want to forget about everything else. That’s also why methods that interrupt sex, such as condoms, diaphragms or “being careful” often don’t work or aren’t used consistently. Yet when it comes to methods that require something to be done regularly (take a pill, examine discharge), the demands of everyday life make it easy to forget over the course of 35 years.
That’s why long-term methods of contraception are becoming increasingly popular – so long as they are reversible (coils, implants). These provide very reliable protection against unwanted pregnancy, allow sex to be spontaneous and don’t need to be remembered regularly. The hormonal coil is suitable for women at various stages of life (and love) during their fertile years and offers the additional advantage that monthly periods will be lighter or may stop altogether.
In Austria around 200 000 women are currently successfully using the hormonal coil for contraception. In Germany, almost a million women have chosen this form of contraception.