Everything You Need To Know About The Patch — A Type of Birth Control That You Simply Stick Onto Your Skin
The patch is an ideal option for those who find it hard to remember to take a pill every day.
This method of birth control is worn on your skin.
The patch has a 91% effective rate.
A new patch has to be used once a week.
I remember the first time I heard about the patch. A roommate at the time was using it as her form of birth control and showed me how easily it stuck to her body. I had never heard anyone talk about how the patch works and was instantly fascinated by the idea that sticking something to you had the power to act as a birth control.
If you have no idea how the patch works as birth control, you're not alone. Honestly, if my roommate hadn't used it I might still be a bit clueless about it all. So, what exactly is it?
According to Planned Parenthood, the patch is a method of birth control worn on the skin of your belly, upper arm, butt, or back. It quite literally is a patch you attach on to yourself as a form of birth control. Like many other forms of birth control, the patch is, when used perfectly, 99% effective. However, as no one is perfect, the patch has a 91% effective rate.
How do you use the patch?
Now that you have an idea of what the patch is, the next question is how do you use the patch? A great option if you don't like the idea of taking a pill every day, once a week users attach a fresh patch to one of the aforementioned areas.
This is done for three weeks and, during the fourth week of their cycle, the user goes without a patch. Once seven days have passed, the cycle starts over and the user attaches a new patch to their skin. It's very important to keep the day of the week you change your patch consistent as it will ensure greater effectiveness.
Before attaching the patch, make sure that your skin is dry, clean, and oil free. To attach the patch, first open it's pouch by tearing on the top and sides. Take the patch and plastic layer from the foil and peel half of the plastic layer off the patch. Avoid touching the sticky part of the patch and firmly press it to your skin. Hold the patch in place for 10 seconds. Store the remaining pouches at room temperature and make sure to not open any until you plan to use it. Do not keep one patch on for longer than seven days.
Although the patch may not be as widely discussed as birth control methods like the pill and IUD, it's a great option for someone who doesn't want to deal with taking birth control every day, but doesn't like the idea of keeping their contraception inside of them.
With every medicine you take, it's important to be aware of the side effects. While most people experience little to no side effects when taking the patch, they still occur. The hormones in the patch have the potential to cause bleeding between periods. You may also experience headaches, nausea, and breast tenderness. If any side effects persist after three months, consult your doctor about other birth control options.