All about the Birth Control Patch
Thanks to healthcare advancements, there are several birth control methods and practices available for use. A relatively new contraceptive method that has shown promising results is the contraceptive patch. Let’s discuss in brief about the use, functioning, and effectiveness of a birth control patch.
What is a Contraceptive Patch?
A contraceptive or birth control patch is a transdermal patch that releases hormones like progesterone and estrogen to prevent pregnancy. It is a small plastic bandage-like square patch that is worn on the skin of the buttocks, belly, upper arm, or back.
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How does it Work?
A contraceptive patch consists of synthetic estrogen and progestogen. When worn on the skin, the hormones get absorbed in the bloodstream, thereby preventing ovulation. Additionally, the patch also thickens the mucus of the cervix, providing an additional layer of security to prevent fertilization.
How is it Used?
The application of the birth control patch is relatively straight-forward, but should be carried out carefully as mistakes while using can reduce its contraceptive effectiveness.
The process of applying the birth control patch is identical to that of a bandage.
- First, the area that you wish to apply the patch should be carefully cleaned and dried.
- Then, peel off a small portion of the plastic to reveal the adhesive backing of the patch.
- Place the sticky side of the patch on your skin and peel the rest of the plastic backing off while ensuring the patch has adhered to your skin securely.
- Be mindful in ensuring you don’t accidentally touch the sticky adhesive as it can deteriorate the contraceptive effect of the patch.
The effect of one patch lasts for seven days, and should be replaced with a new one every eighth day.
A contraceptive patch also allows you to regulate your menstrual cycle. If you want to continue your regular menstrual cycle, apply (and reapply) the patch in the manner described above for 21 days, then take a break of seven days. The management of days depends on each individual’s menstrual cycle.
Benefits of using a Contraceptive Patch (Evra Birth Control Patch)
The most significant benefit of using a contraceptive patch is its effectiveness. This birth control method has shown success rates of 90-95 percent, along with being one of the safest contraceptive methods existing to date.
Moreover, it is simple to use and affordable. However, it does not prevent STDs; thus, to attain the best results, use a contraceptive patch with a condom or other barrier contraceptive methods.
Birth control pills and contraceptives remain the most popular choices for birth control. However, people are beginning to learn more about and embrace the patch method, accounting for its increased popularity in the last few years.
Who should Use It?
Anyone can use this method of birth control, but there are certain groups of women for whom this method might be the best. Women with one or more of the following conditions should consider using contraceptive patches over other birth control methods:
- Hypertension or hyperlipidemia
- Blood-clotting disorders
- Women who smoke regularly
What are the Risks & Side Effects of Using a Contraceptive Patch (Evra)?
Although contraceptive patches are generally safe, they can pose some risks and side effects. Nausea, vomiting, and skin irritation are typical side effects of a birth-control patch. However, people with cardiovascular disorders such as stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary diseases should avoid using contraceptive patches.
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