While sexual needs have to be fulfilled and procreation is a part of life, preventing unwanted pregnancy is also a serious concern. There are several methods for pregnancy prevention and most of the times the onus falls on the women. Apart from birth control pills, a lot of women are also resorting to using birth control strips nowadays. The ease of use and efficacy of the product leads to its widespread popularity. In fact, it has over 90% success rate.
Basics of Birth Control Patch
Birth control patch is a square shaped strip resembling band aid. You need to stick it to your skin and then it releases hormones slowly onto the body. The hormones then get mixed into the blood and resist the onset of pregnancy. You have to replace it with a new strip on a weekly basis. Its effect is not permanent. You can discontinue using the strip and then your ovulation cycle returns to normalcy.
The Working Mechanism of Birth Control Patch
Birth control patches contain hormones like estrogen and progesterone that thwart ovulation in women. If the egg is not released, there is no way the sperm can fertilize it. The hormones present in the patch also impact the uterus’s lining so that eggs, if fertilized cannot get attached to the walls.
As is the case with other birth control procedures, women need to use birth control patch according to their monthly menstrual cycle. It is ideal to put on a patch on either first day of your menstrual cycle or on the first Sunday after beginning of the menstrual cycle. Then you need to change the strip once a week for 3 consecutive weeks for the results. The patch should be applied on body parts like the abdomen and buttocks.
How to Ensure You Get the Best Results
To ensure the patch prevents pregnancy, you should ideally apply the new patch on the same day of every week on your body. You should apply the new patch after replacing old one on a different spot. Ensure you do not apply the patch on skin that is swollen and cut. If the patch gets loosened and falls off, you will have to adhere to other forms of birth control.
Do not worry about the patch getting wet after sticking it to skin, you can do activities like swimming, bathing and the strip may get wet. Do not apply gum or use a tape to attach a strip with skin. If the skin has cream, lotion or gel applied to its surface, that can prevent the strip from sticking. So, ensure you paste the strip on clean skin.
Is There Any Side Effect?
Overall, the birth control patch is deemed as a safe and hassle free birth control option. Most women using the strip do not suffer from adverse effects, as it is. However, women who smoke may develop some side effects after using this strip.
Some of the side effects caused by the strip are:
None of these side effects tend to be serious and medical intervention is not required. The effects usually reduce and vanish within a couple of months.
When you Should Use Birth Control Patches?
Generally, women who are healthy and belong to the age group eligible for ovulation can use these strips to avoid unwanted pregnancy. It can be advantageous for such women who forget to swallow birth control pills regularly.
At times, your medical conditions or ailments may make you ineligible for using birth control strips. Women suffering from certain ailments and conditions are advised against using this strip. These are:
- Certain types of cancers
- High blood pressure
- Liver ailments
- Complicated diabetes
- Obesity (women who weigh over 198 pounds)
Women afflicted with such complications should seek medical help and advice before they can use the strips. They can opt for other birth control methods that are deemed as safer. Women who are lactating should also seek medical advice before they can start using the strip. You also need to remember that birth control strips do not offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases. To protect yourself from such ailments, using a condom is still required.