The contraceptive patch is a weekly hormone patch that is placed on the skin. A small adhesive square that used properly has a proven 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy, similar to birth control pills. As with other contraceptive methods, before using the patch should know how it is used and if you have contraindications. Let’s look more closely what the contraceptive patch is and when it is the best contraceptive option.
How to use the birth control patch
The patch can be placed in four zones of the body: buttocks or hips, belly, back or outside of the arm. It should be placed on dry and clean skin, and never on red, irritated or injured skin. Nor should it be placed in body areas where makeup, creams, lotions or other products will be applied. The contraceptive patch stays attached to the skin for a week. We must change the patch on the same day for three consecutive weeks, and then have a week off, as with the contraceptive pill. The first patch must be applied the first day of the menstrual cycle, and pause should not exceed 7 days and you can lose effectiveness.
It can be found in two formats: a package of 3 patches for three weeks, at a price of around 14.50 euro; and a package with 9 patches, for three months, with a price around 40 euro.
Women with blood circulation problems, or with a history of heart problems, should not use this contraceptive method, as well as if suspected of a possible pregnancy. Before using any contraceptive method beyond the condom should always consult a gynecologist, especially by the possible contraindications.
Some women who use the patch may feel light headaches, nausea or dermatological reactions in the area where these have been placed.
It is not a recommended method for women with overweight or obesity, as well as in case of the smoking women.
Advantages and disadvantages with the pill
Compared with the contraceptive pill, the patch is a method that gives us more freedom because it frees us from taking the pill every day. Replace the patch once a week reduces the risk of oversights. Another advantage is that, for example, in case of vomiting or diarrhea, the effectiveness of the patch remains unchanged by not having to ingest it.
Conversely, one of the disadvantages of the patch is that there is the possibility that it becomes detached without realizing. In these cases, it must be replaced or replaced within 24 hours. Otherwise, it is advisable to consult the doctor and make sure to use alternative contraceptive methods for the following days, in addition to starting a new cycle of patches for three consecutive weeks.
As with the pill, the patch also blamed for a certain relationship with the weight, while the experts claim that the increase is negligible, a possible variation of between 300-500 grams during the first weeks of application, i.e. practically unnoticeable.
It is always important to remember that although the patch has a 99% effective in preventing pregnancy, like all hormonal contraceptives, does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. As for the transition from the contraceptive pill to the patch, it can be done automatically, applying the patch immediately after the break week of oral contraceptives.