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Contraceptive Methods: The Birth Control Patch

The birth control patch has grown in popularity as women seek a convenient, yet still effective alternative to traditional birth control pills. The Ortho Evra patch contains the same hormones—progestin and estrogen—as pills, but delivers these hormones through a tiny skin-colored patch worn on the arm, stomach, upper torso or buttocks. A new patch is worn every week for three weeks, then you should have your period during the patch-free fourth week. The birth control patch effectiveness is 99% when used correctly.

If you are looking for short or long-term birth control that can be stopped at any time, and doesn’t interfere with sexual spontaneity, the birth control patch may be for you. Due to the progestin-estrogen combination, the patch also helps to regulate heavy, painful and erratic menstrual periods, and lowers the risk of ovarian cancer.

Birth control patch may include breast tenderness, nausea, headache, and menstrual cramps, similar to those of birth control pills, with the addition of possible rash or redness at the patch site.

Birth control patches are not for everyone, however. Women who are pregnant, nursing, over 35, smokers, or who suffer from blood clots or have history of heart attack, stroke, or certain kinds of cancer should not use the birth control patch. Also, the patch does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV. Condoms should be worn while on the birth control patch to provide the best protection against STDs.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.