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What is a Contraceptive Patch?

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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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A contraceptive patch is a form of birth control used by women. Unlike condoms, the patch does not prevent the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Statistics show that the contraceptive patch is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. The contraceptive patch has been proven to be a safe and reliable method of birth control.

The contraceptive patch is applied directly onto the skin. The hormones estrogen and progesterone are then released into the bloodstream in a daily dose. These hormones are similar to natural hormones already in the body. They prevent ovulation from occurring each month. This means that the egg that must be fertilized by sperm in order to cause pregnancy will not be produced.

Other effects of the contraceptive patch include a thickening of the entrance to the womb. This makes it more difficult for sperm to reach the womb. The lining of the womb also becomes thinner, making it more difficult for an egg to attach itself to the womb wall.

One advantage of the contraceptive patch is that it is very easy to use. Unlike the contraceptive pill, there is no need to remember to take medication every day. The contraceptive patch only needs to be applied once a week.

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Using the contraceptive patch will make periods lighter and less painful. The patch is very discreet and sticky enough to be worn while swimming. The hormones in the patch are not absorbed into the stomach and are still effective during a bout of sickness or diarrhea.

The contraceptive patch has some disadvantages as well. Due to its lack of protection against STDs, a condom may also have to be used. Some women are also prone to skin irritation resulting from the patch. Some women suffer side affects when using the contraceptive patch, including headaches, mood swings and weight gain or loss.

Certain medicines can make the contraceptive patch ineffective. A woman should consult her doctor if she plans to take medicines while wearing the patch. Some natural drugs, such as St. Johns Wort, are known to make the contraceptive patch ineffective.

There are special cases in which the patch may not be suitable. Women over the age of 35 and women who smoke may not be advised to use the patch. Women who suffer from medical conditions such as thrombosis, heart conditions and serious migraines are not advised to use the patch. A doctor should always be consulted before deciding to use the contraceptive patch.

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