When it comes to birth control, it seems like there are so many new and incredible technologies that are coming out that we can start to use in our daily practice. From the pill to condoms to IUDs, there are many ways we can prevent STIs, STDs, and pregnancy. One that we haven’t really heard much about is the birth control patch. According to the FDA, it’s a thin band-aid-like square you place on your arm, back, abdomen, or butt once a week. On average, it prevents pregnancy about 91% of the time. You only have to switch it out once a week, and if you want a period, you can skip week four. We’ve done some research to find out more about its side effects, the hormones it produces, and how it works. Keep reading for more on the birth control patch!
The Birth Control Patch and Everything You Need to Know
1) The hormones involved are estrogen and progestin
So basically, these same hormones are responsible for what goes into birth control pills as well. According to Cosmopolitan, “the hormones stop the ovaries from producing eggs and thicken the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from getting to any eggs. The only difference with the patch is that the hormones are absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream, rather than through the digestive system.” You can choose from a few brands on the market, but we suggest that you speak to your gynecologist about what’s best for you.
2) The side effects
These are also similar to the pill (because of the same hormones released). You’ll have headaches, sore boobs, moodiness, and nausea, potentially. Even though this happens, the patch can make your period lighter and prevent you from getting severe cramps! Depending on where you are in your cycle, it could start working right away. If you want to be safe, we suggest you wait a few weeks before skipping any type of secondary protection against pregnancy.
3) Worry about the placement, don’t worry about getting the patch wet
You’ll want to switch the placement of the patch from time to time to avoid skin irritation and from it falling off. At the same time, you can shower or swim with it on, it’s designed to have a tight hold. According to Cosmopolitan, if it does fall, make sure you apply a new one right away. Other than that, you should be good to go!