Contraceptive patches are a modern and effective means for preventing unwanted pregnancy.
Their use has several advantages over other contraceptive methods, for example:
- ease and convenient to use;
- efficiency for a long time;
- maintenance of the regularity of menstrual cycles;
- beneficial effect on ovarian function;
- reduction or disappearance of acne.
Reviews of contraceptive patches are mostly positive and this contributes to an increase in the number of women who prefer this contraceptive method.
You can buy contraceptive patch from different manufacturers.
Some of the most popular brand names of contraceptives are:
Xulaneapproved in 2011
approved in 2001
The patches contain steroid sex hormones similar to those that are naturally produced in the female body. Similar types of the hormones are found in contraceptive pills. The difference is that the hormones penetrate the body through the skin when using patches.
Thus, the hormones do not enter the gastrointestinal tract, but are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream and then directly affect the ovaries and the uterus.
The patch contains two active ingredients: Norelgestromin and Ethinyl estradiol.
When patch is applied to the skin, daily it releases:
- 0.15mg of Norelgestromin;
- 0.035mg of Ethinyl Estradiol.
Clinical trials have shown that the effectiveness of the contraceptive patch is the same both for women and for adolescents aged 18 years. The disadvantage of patches is a significant decrease in the effectiveness in women weighing more than 90 kg.
If you want to buy contraceptive patch at a regular or on online pharmacy, first it is best to consult a doctor. Patches have some contraindications to use, so make sure they are right for you.
Just as other combined hormonal contraceptives, Xulane and Ortho Evra are not recommended for smoking women over 35 years old.
Transdermal hormonal patch consists of three main layers:
Women of childbearing age should start to apply the first patch on the 1 day of their periods. An alternative dosing regimen assumes that the contraceptive will be applied to the skin on the first Sunday after starting the periods.
Each next patch should be applied at a 7-day interval on the same day of the week. For example, if you used patch on Friday, this day will be “Patch Change Day”.
If you buy a transdermal contraceptive patch for the first time, please note that:
- only one patch should be applied at a time;
- the fourth week should be without patch.
After a three-week use of the contraceptive, take a break for 1 week, then apply a new patch on the 8th day. This contraceptive should be used continuously for 3 weeks. Do not use the same transdermal patch for more than a week.
When patch is used up to 10 days, the body gets a quarter less hormones than necessary.
The risk of unwanted pregnancy increases in this case.
The maximum effectiveness in preventing unwanted pregnancy is achieved in proper use of the hormonal contraceptives.
Patch can be applied to different parts of the body, but the recommended ones are the following:
Do not apply the contraceptive to the skin surface in the chest area. During applying the patch, press down it firmly with the palm of your hand for about 10-15 seconds, smoothing the slightest irregularities. It should be used for at least one week and then replaced with a new one.
If you ordered a transdermal patch online, make sure of the package integrity. Do not use damaged package with patches. It is necessary to periodically check the patch on the skin to make sure that the contraceptive is securely attached and there are no defects.
If obvious damages to the contraceptive were revealed or the patch comes unstuck and does not hold, it should be removed and a new one applied. To minimize the risk of detachment, the patch should be attached to the clean, dry and undamaged skin.
The use of patch can be contraindicated in the presence of certain health problems, such as:
- breast carcinoma;
- some diseases of the brain;
- uncontrolled high blood pressure;
- tumors or liver diseases;
- high risk of venous or arterial thrombosis.
In case of abortion or miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy, patches can be applied immediately. Be aware that ovulation may occur for up to 10 days, so a backup contraception should be used.
Effect of some drugs may decrease the contraceptive effectiveness.
A list of such drugs includes:
Tell your doctor if you plan to use any medications, including those that are available without a prescription. Before to buy a transdermal contraceptive patch at pharmacy, show the pharmacist a list of all medications you use.
Transdermal patches sometimes cause side effects, even if all recommendations for use are followed.
Such reactions may include:
Women are recommended to give up smoking during using the transdermal contraceptive patch, since this circumstance creates the danger of developing various diseases and pathologies of the cardiovascular system.