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Birth Control Patches

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • A birth control patch is a type of birth control that utilizes hormonal medication in the form of a patch that is applied to the skin and has levels of effectiveness comparable to birth control pills.
  • If pregnancy is desired, the patch can be removed and its effects will cease quite quickly, with ovulation cycles returning to normal within 1–2 monthly cycles after removal of the patch.

 

A birth control patch is a type of birth control that uses hormonal medication administered through a thin, skin-colored and flexible patch, applied to the area of skin around the hips, lower abdomen, top of the back or outer part of the upper arm. When used properly, the medication will be absorbed transdermal into the bloodstream, directly affecting the function of the ovaries. Furthermore, the effectiveness of this type of birth control in pregnancy prevention is comparable to that of orally administered birth control medication.

Usage methods

  1. Apply the patch within 24 hours of the first day of a menstrual cycle and count this as the first day of the medication’s use. This means that this day of the week will be the one on which the patch will need to be replaced every week thereafter. This method ensures immediate pregnancy prevention without the need for other birth control techniques.
  2. Apply the patch on the Sunday during the week of menstruation and then change the patch every Sunday thereafter. Also, other forms of birth control should be used during the first 7 days of the patch’s application to offer the best level of pregnancy prevention.
    *If users have irregular menstruation cycles, it is strongly recommended that the user consult a doctor before using the birth control patch and strictly adhere to their advice as improper use will result in a greater chance of pregnancy. When pregnancy is desired, the patch can be removed immediately, and the user’s ovulation cycle will return to normal within 1–2 menstruation cycles after the patch has been removed.

Other important information

  • The patch should not be removed even if the user is not engaging in regular sexual intercourse.
  • Notify your physician each time you are planning to use the birth control patch as some forms of medication may reduce the effectiveness of the birth control.
  • Side effects, such as discomfort in the breasts, nausea, stomach pain, headaches and skin irritation around the area where the patch is applied may occur, but are not considered serious and usually last only the first few months. Whether these side effects affect the user a lot or a little depends entirely on the physical condition of the user.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting does not have an effect on hormone absorption.

“When you are considering birth control measures, you should consult with specialist physicians in order to help you make a decision on the most suitable form of birth control that can offer you the best prevention against pregnancy.”


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Chantarat Suratanakavikul, M.D. Summary: Obstetrics And Gynaecology Maternal And Fetal Medicine