Teaching the young generation about sex education is crucial. Healthy discussions on sex not only help build gender identity and establish boundaries but also encourage teenagers to practice healthy sex habits, including the use of contraception like birth control patch. Research has shown that children and teenagers who are denied sex education are the ones who end up making bad decisions. This happens due to ignorance and misinformation.
Whereas, talking to kids about sexual values, and the use of contraception provides them with a framework and allows them to make informed decisions. If you are a parent or a teacher reading this article, your takeaway should be educating your next generation about contraceptives. Today, we are going to talk about safe sex and the use of contraceptives, specifically the birth control patch. Let’s dive in!
What is the Birth Control Patch?
The birth control patch is a transdermal contraceptive patch. It is a method of hormonal contraception. It is a small, square-shaped patch, and is stuck to your skin. It gradually releases hormones in the body that prevent pregnancy. The birth control patch is meant to be replaced once per week. A lot of people are doubtful of the birth control patch, however, it is a safe and convenient contraceptive method that works effectively if used properly. Apart from birth control, this patch has several other health benefits too.
The birth control patch is considered to be one of the most effective methods of birth control. In fact, less than one percent of women who regularly use the patch get pregnant while they use it. The two most common brands of birth control patches available are the Twirla birth control patch and the Xulane birth control patch.
How does the Birth Control Patch Even Work?
If you are interested in knowing the science behind it, we have got you covered! Like most contraceptive methods, the birth control patch prevents pregnancy by stopping the sperm from fertilizing the egg.
The patch consists of two man-made versions of the female hormones, estrogen, and progestin. These are similar to the hormones that the body produces naturally, and the ones found in birth control pills.
When stuck on the skin, the body absorbs the hormones from the patch. The hormones are intended to stop ovulation. The hormones block the ovaries from releasing eggs, thus preventing pregnancy. Additionally, the hormones thicken the cervical mucus which blocks sperm from swimming to the eggs. To reach its full effect, the patch takes one week after you initially started using it.
Also Read: Birth Control Methods
You can wear the Xulane birth control patch on your upper arm, back, belly, or butt. The Twirla patch is most effective when worn either on the belly or the back.
How to Use the Birth Control Patch?
As we said, to activate the patch’s full potential, you will have to use it correctly and wear it one week before. Making a mistake in the process could lead to pregnancy, therefore, you should be extra careful.
You must have a prescription to use birth control patches. Visit your gynecologist to discuss if the birth control patch is the best contraceptive method for you. Once your doctor gives you the clear and writes you a prescription, you are free to use the patch. However, the birth control patch is most effective in teenagers and young people. You need to carefully note the dates of using the patch. To remind yourself to do so, use SpotOn or other birth control reminder apps to set a weekly alarm on your phone. Make sure you note your patch change days on the calendar.
Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you use the birth control patch correctly:
- Open the foil pouch.
- Decide where you want to stick the patch. The area should be clean and dry. It’s best to apply it to your upper arm, belly, or back.
- Now, carefully peel the patch off the foil.
- Peel half the plastic off, but be careful to not touch the sticky part of the patch.
- Now, stick the patch to the decided area and peel off the rest of the plastic.
- Press the skin against the patch for about 10 to 15 seconds using the palm of your hand.
- Make sure that the patch is firmly stuck to your skin.
- On the same day, next week, remove the patch and dispose of it.
- Reapply a new patch using the same steps.
- Do this for the first three weeks. On the fourth week, take a break from using the patch, and then start over the week after.
Both the Twirla and the Xulane birth control patch come with instructions. Make sure you carefully read and understand those before going ahead.
Birth Control Patch Advantages
The failure rate for the birth control patch is less than one percent for women who use the patch correctly, following all directions. To increase the effectiveness of the patch, use it on the same day every week. The advantages of the patch include a high rate of birth control effectiveness, regulation of menstrual cycle, and shorter periods with less flow and less cramping.
Just like any other contraceptive method, the birth control patch comes with risks as well. The risks include stroke, deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, and pulmonary embolism. However, the risks are most common in women who are over 35, have diabetes, high blood pressure, smoke regularly, or have genetic blood clotting diseases.
If you fall into these categories, make an appointment with your doctor before you decide to go on the patch. It should also be noted that the birth control patch is only effective in preventing pregnancy. It doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. To protect against STDs and prevent pregnancy, use condoms.
Also, read: Side Effects of Birth Control Pill