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What is the Birth Control Patch?

If you are looking to prevent unwanted pregnancies and do not want to take birth control pills at the same time every day, the birth control patch may be the solution you are looking for. The birth control patch is a small square adhesive, similar to a Band-Aid that you would stick on your skin. The combined hormones estrogen and progesterone lower your risk of becoming pregnant. After you apply the birth control patch, the hormones are absorbed through your skin and it prevents you from ovulating, which indicates that your body will stop releasing eggs.

How Does the Birth Control Patch Work?

The birth control patch works in the same way as a birth control pill would. The patch may be worn on your shoulder, lower back, arm or abdomen. Once the patch is attached to your skin, it releases hormones, estrogen and progesterone which are absorbed through your body and prevents your ovaries from releasing any eggs. In the unlikelihood of an egg passing through, the patch also thickens the cervical mucus so that it prevents sperm from reaching an egg. Through this process, the sperm is unable to meet an egg and fertilize it. Moreover, the sperm is not able to enter the uterus because of the thickened mucus. It also changes your uterine lining so that a fertilized egg cannot attach itself.

How Effective is the Birth Control Patch?

With perfect use, the birth control contraceptive patch is 99% effective if you change it at the right time and apply it correctly. Typically, the birth control patch is 91% effective which means about 9 out of 100 women who use it will get pregnant every year. In comparison to birth control pills, the birth control square-shaped patch has similar effectiveness with the luxury of not having to take pills at the same time every day to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

When Will the Birth Control Patch Start Working?

woman places birth control patch on her upper armIf you start the patch within the first five days of your period, you are protected from the risk of unwanted pregnancy right away. However, if you start the patch at any other time during your menstrual cycle, it will take seven days for effectiveness. The birth control patch works for seven days, after which you will need to remove and replace it. After you have completed using your first patch, keep track of the date you applied it to your skin – this will become your “patch day.”

You will place a small patch on your skin once a week for three weeks. This results in wearing the patch for a total of 21 days (about 3 weeks). On the fourth week, you would not wear a patch which will allow your menstrual cycle to occur. It is best to store your patch in a room temperature environment, away from direct sunlight and in its protective pouch.

Is it Easy to Use the Birth Control Patch?

The birth control patch is easy to use and apply! You want to first make sure that you clean the area of skin where you want to apply the patch. You may apply it on your belly, buttocks (specifically your butt cheeks), or back. In addition, the patch may also be applied to your upper outer arm.

You Should Keep these Tips in Mind:

  • Always check the expiration date prior to applying a new patch on your skin.
  • Clean your skin before placing the sticky half of the patch on your belly, buttocks (butt cheeks), or back.
  • Pull off the other piece of the transparent plastic and press the patch down on your skin.
  • Hold the patch using the palm of your hand for 10 seconds.
  • Set a reminder on your calendar or set an alert on your phone to change the patch every week, except the fourth week.
  • Use backup contraception for the first two weeks to avoid any unwanted pregnancies.
  • To prevent skin irritation when you apply a new patch, put it in a slightly different spot than the last one.

Does the Birth Control Patch Cause Weight Gain?

Weight gain is not a common side effect when using the birth control patch, however, if you weigh over 198 pounds, the birth control patch may not be as effective. In the event, exploring other birth control options would be a suitable alternative.

Are there Side Effects Using Birth Control Patch?

After starting the birth control patch, some people may experience headaches, nausea and sore breasts. You may also experience changes in your period such as starting early, late or stopping altogether while on the patch. The other side effects may include spotting (light bleeding or brown discharge) and skin reactions such as itching, dryness, pain, swelling or a rash on the area applied.

The side effects usually disappear in 2-3 months, so if you are just starting to use the patch, allow your body some time to adjust to the hormones. If you decide that the patch is not right for you, speak to your doctor about another birth control contraceptive. Keep in mind that when you stop using the patch, you may risk becoming pregnant.

Have You Decided if the Birth Control Patch is Right for You?

In summary, the birth control patch is easy to use! If you are not an oral medication person, you may enjoy using the birth control patch and its benefits. When you apply the patch correctly and change it as needed, you can maximize the full effects of using the birth control patch with 99% accuracy and effectiveness. Life already has enough worries, and with the birth control patch, there is no need to worry about unwanted pregnancy.

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