Posted: December 23, 2015 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY

Your Questions Answered: The Birth Control Patch

We are lucky to live in a time when  the term ‘birth control’ doesn’t pertain to just one thing. Currently, birth control methods span from natural to artificial forms and cover a range of forms from pills to the patch. No matter what the form, the goal is the same – to prevent pregnancy. One of the newest forms of birth control, the patch, remains a mystery to many women. 

Here are 5 things you have always wanted to ask:

  1. What is the transdermal patch?
    * From an aesthetic standpoint, the transdermal birth control patch appears to be a large Band-Aid. Just as the commonly known nicotine patch delivers the drug by way of the skin, the birth control patch delivers hormones via the skin as well. Basically, you wear one patch for a week and then swap it out for a new one for 3 weeks consecutively. Then the patch is removed and  you skip a week, which is the time you will get your period.
  2. How does the patch help prevent pregnancy when used as directed?
    * Just like the combination pill, the patch contains two synthetic versions  of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Essentially, the patch causes cervical mucus to thicken and ovulation is prevented as well. Both these changes greatly decrease the chance of pregnancy occurring.
  3. When compared to other forms of birth control, how effective is the patch?
    * Like any other birth control, the efficacy largely depends on your adherence to the instructions for use. If taken as directed, its over 99% effective. For those who do not constantly follow the rules of proper use, there will be about 9 pregnancies in 100 women (or 91%).
  4. Do you still get a period when you are using the patch?
    * You will still experience a period each month on the patch. Like most forms of combination hormones, you will probably notice a lighter and shorter period.
  5. How can I buy the patch?
    * In order to get the patch, you will need to obtain a prescription. After that, you can fulfill it like any other medication at your pharmacy.
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