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Birth control patch as a contraceptive


What is a Birth Control Patch?

A birth control patch is a small, square patch which sticks onto a body part. You can put the patch on the upper arm, lower abdomen region or on the back. This patch contains oestrogen and progesterone hormones and it keeps releasing these hormones in the blood stream. The patch helps in preventing pregnancy by either delaying the release of eggs by ovaries or by stopping fertilisation or by not letting the fertilised egg implant itself in the uterus.


Effectiveness: 99% (if used correctly and replaced at the same day every week), otherwise 91%

How long does it Last: One patch lasts for a week and then it needs to be replaced with a new one.

To use the patch, put a patch on the skin a week, replace it with a new one for another week and then replace again for another week. This is done for 3 weeks in a row and on the fourth week, remove the patch (patch free week). You may get period-like bleeding in this week. After the fourth week, repeat the cycle.
If the patch falls off, put the same patch if it sticks, within 48 hours, otherwise replace it with a new patch and start the new patch cycle. If the patch has been off for more than 48 hours, use other contraception methods (like spermicide or condom) for the next 7 days along with the patch.


Cost: INR 300 onwards per patch

Where to Buy: Available in Health centres, sold on prescription

STD Protection: No 

Safe During Pregnancy: No 

Side Effects: 

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Acne

  • Weight gain

  • Headaches

  • Diarrhoea

  • Vaginal bleeding/spotting

  • Breast/cervical/uterine cancer

  • High Blood Pressure

When to Avoid: 

  • In cases of breast/cervical/uterine cancer

  • Migraine

  • Obesity

  • Allergy against the patch

  • Epilepsies

  • If you are a woman and smoker- especially 35 years and older

  • Severely high blood pressure

  • Previous episodes of stroke  

  • Had liver or gallbladder disease in past

After childbirth and if you are breastfeeding, avoid using the patch for 6 weeks.


How to use birth control patches as a contraceptive
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