Contraceptive patches are considered one of the most convenient and safest methods of preventing pregnancy. How do they work? What are their advantages and disadvantages?
Contraceptive patches are a transdermal contraceptive method, which involves attaching a patch containing synthetic female sex hormones to the skin. They penetrate the skin, protecting against pregnancy. Contraceptive patches contain the same hormones as birth control pills. What makes them different is the route of penetration into the body
The contraceptive patch is a combination of ethinylestradiol, which is an estrogen equivalent, and norelgestromin, which is a progesterone derivative. How do contraceptive patches work? The mechanism of action is very similar to that of the contraceptive pill. The patch, stuck to the skin, releases hormones responsible for blocking ovulation. As a result, the mucus thickens and closes the cervix, impeding the migration of sperm and the implantation of the embryo in the uterus. This is possible by blocking the surge of lutropin secreted by the pituitary gland
What is the effectiveness of the contraceptive patch? It is determined by the so-called Pearl index. It indicates how many women out of 100 get pregnant using a particular contraceptive method. If you use the contraceptive patch correctly, you can count on a success rate of 0.4 – 0.7. This means that a maximum of 1 woman in 100 has become pregnant using this method
Research shows that contraceptive patches are one of the most effective ways of preventing pregnancy. When applied correctly, they are effective for up to 7 days. For the contraceptive patch to be effective, it is necessary to store it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This should be in a dark, dry place at room temperature. Patches should never be stored in a refrigerator or bathroom. This is due to the high humidity, which can make them less effective.
Taking birth control pills can be associated with the following side effects: development of hormonal acne, weight gain, decreased libido, mood swings, nausea, vomiting, spotting during the cycle, headaches, diarrhea, abdominal pain and breast tenderness. In the vast majority of cases, the above unpleasant symptoms disappear after 3 cycles. You should also be aware that prolonged use of hormonal contraception may contribute to an increased risk of venous thromboembolism.
Also read our article on condoms.
Where is the best place to stick the contraceptive patch? It can be placed on the buttock, arm, abdomen, bikini area or upper back. The patch should not be placed on the breasts or where it comes into too much contact with clothing. You should change the location of the patch every time you change it. The application is very simple. Just hold it in place for about 30 seconds. You should check every day to make sure it is sticking firmly to your skin.
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