The birth control patch is a newer birth control option that has become popular in recent years. The patch is a thin, beige, piece of plastic cloth that adheres to the skin and is used to prevent pregnancy.  The brand name that most physicians recommend is Ortha Evra.  Similar to how the birth control is taken, the patch comes in a pack of three patches. A new patch is placed on the skin once a week for three weeks in a row and then during the fourth week, it is removed and that becomes a patch-free week.  This is the week where a woman will get her period.

Similar to the pill, the patch releases hormones into the bloodstream once it is placed on the skin.  The hormones released are estrogen and progestin and it is the combination of these hormones that make the cervical mucus thicker within the uterus.  This prevents the eggs from leaving the ovaries, thus preventing pregnancy because the eggs cannot join with the sperm.

What is a Birth Control Patch?

The patch is very effective and is preferred by many women. On women who way more than 200 pounds, the effectiveness decreases slightly although it can still be worn by women of all different sizes. Similar to other hormone-related birth control options, the patch may diminish in effectiveness if a woman is taking antibiotics or certain medicines.

The patch is a very safe form of contraception. It has many of the same safety recommendations as the birth control pill. Including, women should not use the patch if they are pregnant, have a history of blood clots or other blood related diseases, have high blood pressure, or severe diabetes, are over 35 and smoke, have a history of migraines, breast cancer, or other specified medical conditions.  In addition, similar to the pill, it offers some of the same benefits including a protection against acne, menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding, bone thinning, endometrial and ovarian cancers, anemia, cysts, and other premenstrual side effects.

The patch is easy to apply and can be applied almost anywhere on the body. The recommended places are on the buttocks, upper outer arm, stomach, and upper torso.

The patch can be obtained through a prescription.  It is an affordable form of birth control.  Your gynecologist can give you all of the information and assess whether the patch is an acceptable and effective form of birth control for you.

Please contact the office of the Women’s Specialists of Plano, a group of gynecologists servicing the greater north Dallas area, for additional resources on available birth control options, or to learn more about the birth control patch, Ortho Evra.

 

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