by Rachel Burt, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Roswell OB/GYN………………………………….
The divorce is final and the dust has settled. You grieved the loss of the marriage, did your soul-searching, and now you are ready to start the next stage of your life. If you are like many recently divorced women, it has been a while since you have been on the dating scene. It can be a little overwhelming, but I can reassure you that I see many divorced women happily dating and finding lifelong partners. I want to share a few tips with you…
Birth control… sometimes my patients forget that it only takes one sperm to fertilize an egg. You can get pregnant until you are menopausal (average age is 51). If you are starting to date, make sure you are prepared. Please come talk to us about birth control options. We are comfortable using hormonal birth control until age 51 with healthy women who do not smoke. We can also talk about new options available – like the Nuva ring or IUD.
Condoms, condoms, condoms…. Ok ay – so you had your tubes tied after your last child… so you think you don’t need to read anymore. Beyond preventing babies, you need to protect yourself. Many newly divorced women have been in a comfort zone for many years with their ex husbands. When you get out into the dating world, you need to not only think about birth control but also sexually transmitted infections (STI). I am a true believer that people are inherently good. I do not believe anyone would knowingly give someone else a STI. Many times people have no idea that they carry infections. Often times, men with herpes, genital warts and other infections have minimal to no symptoms. Unfortunately, herpes and genital warts can be transmitted even if your partner has no visible symptoms. I am a firm believer in communication and condoms. You need to ask the questions before you end up in the bedroom. It is completely appropriate to ask if your new partner or any of his previous partners have ever been diagnosed with any STIs. Even if he has never had a herpes lesion, he may have been exposed to the virus and can unknowingly pass it along to you. It is important to know about his health and possible the health of his ex wife!
Back in the saddle again – the key is preparation. Be open with your new partner, bring a condom and think about a second form of birth control – such as a pill, Nuva ring or IUD.
Please schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider at 770 751 3600.