If you want to avoid getting pregnant, it’s important that you use proper contraception if you have an active sex life. There are different hormonal contraceptives that contain hormones. One of them is the so-called contraception-patches, which provides the same good protection as the more famous contraception metodes. The patch has many of the same characteristics as birth control pills and is therefore used as an alternative to birth control pills.
This contraceptive contains hormones released from the patch and absorbed through the skin in the blood. Hormones help in different ways by preventing pregnancy, so you can have an active sex life without worrying about getting pregnant. Read more and find out if this type of contraception is the best choice for you.
What’s on this page:
How does it work?
A contraception-patch contains two hormones: estrogen and gestagen. These hormones are present in the drug and then applied to the body. From here, the hormones release themselves regularly and are absorbed into the bloodstream. This contraceptive, in principle, acts as a birth control pill, except that the hormones are absorbed through the skin rather than via a pill.
To get pregnant, you must have ovulation, where the egg is fertilized with sperm from the man. The egg is released from the ovaries once a month. When using hormonal contraception, like a patch, the hormones affect the body so they do not release an egg. You, therefore, do not have ovulation and cannot get pregnant. In addition, the hormone causes the mucus to thicken in the uterus. This means that sperm cells are harder to penetrate. You are therefore protected in several ways against unwanted pregnancy.
Instructions: How should I use it?
The patch is removed from the package and applied to the skin on the first day of your period. It must be applied to clean and dry skin where there is no hair. Ideal places are on the back, upper arm or on top of the back. When you bathe, it should still be on. However, it is a good idea to check if it is after swimming in a swimming pool, sauna or similar activities.
The patch must be left for 7 days. After the first 7 days, switch to a new one and repeat the process after another 7 days. You must have patched for 3 weeks. Then take a week’s break. Do not attach the patch to the same place every time to prevent it from causing skin irritation.
Benefits of this contraceptive
There are various benefits of using this method as a form of hormonal contraception.
- High protection against pregnancy
- It has low hormone content
- Works a week at a time and you do not have to think about it every day
- Supports cysts and ovarian cancer
- The effect is not impaired by vomiting or diarrhoea, as may be the case with birth control pills
Certain side effects may occur when used. These can be nausea, sore breasts, dizziness, unclean skin and mood swings. If symptoms do not improve, contact your doctor to change the form of contraception.
Even though it is rare, in some cases, more serious side effects occur. This may include inflammation of the arteries and blood clots. If you have previously had a blood clot or there is something that has occurred in your immediate family, another form of contraception may be more suitable for you. Mini-pills do not contain estrogen, and therefore do not increase the risk of blood clots. Talk to your doctor about other alternatives.
How safe is the contraceptive patch?
If you use them correctly and remember to change at the right time, it has as high safety as it is known from birth control pills. The safety is high because the hormones affect the body in two ways, giving a double protection against pregnancy. The most common contraceptive is called Evra and contains two synthetic hormones that prevent pregnancy.
It is important to note that this contraceptive does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, genital warts, chlamydia andgonorrhoeaa. It is only a condom that can protect against these diseases.
Who can not use this contraceptive?
There are different situations where these patches are not recommended as protection from pregnancy. This applies, for example, to women weighing more than 90 kilograms. It is for the simple reason that this may not give enough hormone compared to body weight. If you are in the border area, your doctor can advise on other alternatives.
In addition, it is not suitable for women who have previously had blood clots or are exposed to it in the family. The same applies to women with breast cancer or liver and midwife disease.
Women who have high cholesterol or women who suffer from high blood pressure should also inform the doctor about this.
Additionally, hormone preparations do not allow patches and pills for women over 35 years of age who smoke at the same time. There may be an increased risk of serious side effects and therefore this contraceptive is contraindicated in this case.
What if it falls off?
Since the patch is attached to the skin, it may in some cases fall off. If you see it loose, put on a new one. If it is completely lost or unable to stay longer, you must use a new one. Continue to switch to a new one at a regular time.
If the patch has been off for more than 24 hours, start a brand new 4-week period. In addition, the next 7 days are not safe against unwanted pregnancy and you need another form of contraception. For example, condoms.
What if I forget to change my patch?
It may also happen that you forget to swap this at the right time. If you forget to put the first patch after a break, add a new one as soon as possible. The day you put this on is your first day of the cycle. Use another form of contraception during the first 7 days.
If you forget to change the patch later in the cycle, e.g week 2 or 3, you can reset the process as soon as you remember. This applies if it is up to 48 hours after you have normally taken a new one. Set the next patch at normal time without delaying the cycle.
If you change it more than 2 days later, there is a risk of pregnancy if you’ve had intercourse. Start a brand new 4-week period as soon as it comes to mind. Remember to use another form of protection the first week of the new period.
If you forget to remove it after 3 weeks, take it off as soon as you remember it. Start a new period of the day you would otherwise have done it. You do not need to use another form of protection during this period.