The birth control pill has become a common word in the lexicon among women (even men) these days. There are several pills and birth control mechanisms in the market and not all of them pose threats to the regular functioning of the body. However, there are some, that have wallowed in a sea of controversy right from the day of introduction.
Ortho Evra Patch – Overview: Ortho Evra Patch is one such birth control mechanism (via skin patch) which is very popular among women. The FDA approved it in 2002 announcing it as the first ever skin patch released for birth control. There were so many accolades and suspicions raised about the patch soon after its launch. Many women were for it as it saved them time and needed to be changed only once a week. There were many who were vehemently against it. These were not the ordinary naysayers of contraceptives, but the researchers, who claimed that the patch overdoes what the pill does.
Below are a few truths you need to know about the patch:
1. Patch not pill: Patch means convenience. No woman wants to swallow a pill everyday or forget the pill and have a worried morning after. This way patch is comfortable as women cannot forget it. You need to change the patch only 3 times a month and it can be stuck anywhere – in the buttocks or lower abdomen except under the breasts.
2. Patch has no dosage: You need not worry about dosage when you are dealing with a patch. All you have to do is change the patch every week and leave out the fourth week to get your periods. In case of the pill, dosage is a huge problem which you need to deal with your gynecologist.
3. No worries: If you are using other mechanisms like the vaginal ring, it may be uncomfortable as you need to worry about it coming down or being dislocated. In the case of the patch, the only worry is the slight tint the adhesive patch causes on your clothes. You can avoid it if you wear it in you buttocks.
4. Works just like the others: Some people tend to think that since Ortho Evra Patch is a skin patch it has a different mechanism of working. No. The patch works just like the pill. It prevents ovulation by the thickening of the cervical mucus, making it difficult for the sperm to enter.
5. Easy to use and throw: Unlike the pill you don’t need to bother about frequent refills. You can buy the patch, use it for three weeks, make use of the free time in the fourth week to replace another one for the next month. Birth control patch is one of the easiest mechanisms ever invented.
Now, here are the pain-points that can have adverse effects on certain women:
6. Higher blood clot risk: A study by the FDA itself reports that patch has an increased risk of blood clot, heart attack and stroke than the pill.
7. More and unchanged estrogen levels: Unlike the pill, the patch delivers hormones directly into the bloodstream. It has been discovered that the patch has 60% more estrogen than the pill. This is fine as the pill too has more hormonal content when released into the bloodstream. The difference – the hormone levels induced by the pill drop down sooner, but the ones done by the patch stay on forever.
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