Choosing between birth control methods is an important decision that can affect your health and lifestyle. There is no universal answer to the best contraceptive. It depends on many factors, including your health, lifestyle, future plans, and personal preferences. At Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine, in Katy, TX, we provide many different options, including the contraceptive patch.
How the patch works
This is a form of hormonal contraception, delivered via a convenient transdermal patch. The medication is gradually absorbed through the skin, delivering a steady supply. It works to prevent pregnancy in two ways. First, it prevents the release of eggs from your ovaries. Second, it thickens cervical mucus, which impedes the movement of sperm.
Advantages and disadvantages of patch birth control
This is a convenient and reliable method of preventing pregnancy when used correctly. The benefits include:
- Safe - The risks and side effects of a contraceptive patch are virtually identical to those associated with birth control pills, because the hormones are very similar.
- Effective - When used correctly, the rate of effectiveness is estimated to be about 99 percent.
- Convenient - You don't need to worry about forgetting to take a pill. Simply change the patch every week for three weeks, then skip a week and begin the cycle again.
- Reversible - If you want to become pregnant, fertility will return very quickly after the patch is removed.
- Beneficial side effects - The patch can ease PMS symptoms as well as reducing your chances of developing hormone-related problems such as acne.
Of course, the patch is not right for every woman. Some of the reasons that you might choose an alternative include:
- STI exposure - The patch does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. If there is any chance of exposure, you need to use a physical barrier (condom).
- Negative side effects - Some women experience side effects such as headaches. If you can’t take birth control pills, you probably can’t use a patch.
- Specific health concerns - Be sure to tell Dr. Jenkins about any diseases or conditions you have, as this may affect your eligibility.
- Drug interactions - Some compounds are not compatible with hormone-based contraception. Be sure to tell Dr. Jenkins about any prescriptions or drugs, as well as tobacco use.
- Temporary - If you don't change your patch on schedule, you may become pregnant. If this is a concern, you may wish to consider a more long-term solution.
Don’t risk an unplanned pregnancy. Call 855-346-8610 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Jenkins to discuss birth control.