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Contraceptive patches: use and side effects

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The transdermal patch is a female contraceptive method that, in the same way as contraceptive pills, prevents the ovulation process by secreting hormones that enter the bloodstream causing a series of changes in the woman’s body with the objective not of getting pregnant. As it is a hormonal method, many questions can arise about its use, effectiveness, and mainly if it entails suffering from side effects and, if so, what they are and what should be done about it. So that you can be entirely sure before using it, at FastlyHealwe, explain everything you need to know about how contraceptive patches work and their use and side effects.

How the birth control patchworks

The contraceptive patch is a kind of cream-colored square dressing or adhesive that adheres to the skin and releases the hormones estrogen and progestin, which enter the bloodstream through the epidermis and prevent the ovaries from releasing the eggs. Thus avoiding unwanted pregnancies. In addition to this, it also makes the cervical mucosa thicker to block the sperm, and the sperm cannot reach the egg and fertilize it.

It is a hormonal contraceptive method that works similarly to contraceptive pills. If used correctly, on the second day of its application, all its components will have been adequately absorbed, and there will be safe and effective protection throughout the menstrual cycle.

Use of the contraceptive patch

It is essential to use the contraceptive patch correctly so that its effectiveness is not reduced and it can provide adequate protection. You should know that in each box you buy, you will find three patches, one for each week, because, in week number 4, it should not be used. After all, that is when menstruation will occur. The first patch you have to put on during the first 24 hours after menstruation has started, and you should replace it with a new one every week, constantly applying it on the same day.

Next, we detail the steps that must be followed to apply the contraceptive patch, but if you have doubts, consult your pharmacist or doctor to avoid taking unnecessary risks:

  • Carefully open the wrapper of the patch, remove it and peel off the transparent plastic cover that is halfway up, avoiding touching the adhesive part.
  • Stick it on the skin of the area where you want to wear it, remove the other half of the plastic and press it firmly against the skin for about 10 seconds to perfectly adheres. It is advisable to place them in areas such as the buttocks, the abdomen, the upper part of the trunk (avoiding the breasts), or the upper and outer part of the arms, also ensuring that there is not much hair in it could impair its effectiveness.
  • The skin in the area chosen to wear the patch must be clean and dry, free of creams, lotions, or body oils.
  • Wear the patch in that area for a week and once it has passed, remove it and replace it with a new one following the same placement procedure.
  • Please do not throw the old patch in the toilet; put it in a bag or wrap it with a piece of toilet paper and throw it away.

In addition, to enhance its effects, we advise you to alternate the placement areas and wear it in different parts each week to protect your skin from possible irritations. Keep the patch box in a dry, dark place, completely away from direct sunlight.

Efficacy of the contraceptive patch

The effectiveness of the contraceptive patch is one of the issues of most significant concern to women who choose to prevent unwanted pregnancies using this method. Well, you should know that if it is used correctly, it provides the efficiency of almost 99%, but this can be significantly reduced if it has not been placed on time, if it has been detached or if it has been in place for more than 24 hours, without him.

What to do if the patch comes off?

We recommend that you check the condition of the patch every day and make sure that it well adheres to the skin. If you see that it has partially detached, it is essential that you remove it and put it back correctly if 24 hours have not yet passed. On the other hand, if it has been detached for more than 24 hours, you will have to put on a new one and start a new four-week cycle.

In addition to this, it is advisable to use an additional contraceptive method such as a male or female condom for the next seven days. It is also convenient to remember that the patch is a method that does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. In this sense, it is essential to take extreme precautions.

Contraceptive patch side effects

The use of the contraceptive patch can affect each woman differently, and as it is a hormonal method, it can lead to one or more of the side effects that we show below:

  • Local allergic reactions or irritation to the skin to which it has attached.
  • Headaches.
  • Pain or swelling in the breasts.
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Occasional fluid retention.
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods.

Generally, if symptoms of this type are manifested, they tend to reduce after three months of use of the patch. Still, if they persist or are displayed intensely, it is best to consult with the doctor since it is possible that it is preferable to opt for the use of another contraceptive method.

In addition, it is essential that before starting to use the patch, you make sure if it can be harmful to your health, and its use is not recommended in the following cases:

  • Women who are pregnant or suspected of being pregnant.
  • Women over 35 and smokers.
  • Having a family history of heart attacks or strokes.
  • Having cancer
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Being diabetic
  • Having problems with blood clotting or inflammation of the veins.
  • Having severe liver disease.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Contraceptive patches: use and side effects, we recommend that you enter our Sexuality category.

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