Contraceptive patch: How to use, advantages and disadvantages and how it works

The contraceptive patch works like the traditional pill, but in this case the hormones estrogen and progestogen are absorbed through the skin, protecting up to 99% against pregnancy, provided it is used correctly. 

To use correctly just paste the patch on the skin on the 1st day of menstruation and change after 7 days, pasting in another location. After using 3 consecutive patches, an interval of 7 days should be taken, then put a new patch on the skin.

A brand of this type of contraceptive is Evra, which can be purchased at any conventional pharmacy with a gynecologist’s prescription. This product has an average price of 50 to 80 reais per box of 3 patches, which is enough for one month of contraception.

How to use the sticker

To use the contraceptive patch, you must peel the back of the patch off and stick it on your arms, back, lower belly or butt, and it is recommended to avoid the breast region, since the absorption of hormones in this location can cause pain.  

When gluing the sticker it is also important to ensure that it is in an easily accessible and visible place, to allow checking its integrity every day. This type of adhesive has a good implantation and, therefore, it does not usually come off easily, even during the bath, but it is good to be able to see it daily. You should avoid placing it in places where there are skin folds or where the clothes tighten so that it does not get wrinkled or wrinkled. 

Before you stick the patch on your skin, make sure your skin is clean and dry. Cream, gel or lotion should not be applied over the adhesive to prevent it from loosening. However, he does not go out in the bath and it is possible to go to the beach, pool and swim with him. 

How to put the 1st sticker

For those who did not use any other contraceptive method you should wait for the 1st day of menstruation to stick the patch on the skin. Anyone who wants to stop taking the birth control pill can stick the patch on the next day after taking the last pill from the pack, before menstruation starts.

Menstruation may be irregular in the first 2 months of using this contraceptive patch, but it tends to normalize afterwards.

How does it work

The contraceptive patch is very effective because it releases hormones into the bloodstream that prevent ovulation, in addition to making the cervical mucus thicker, preventing sperm from reaching the uterus, greatly reducing the chances of pregnancy. The contraceptive patch is very effective because it releases hormones into the bloodstream that prevent ovulation, in addition to making the cervical mucus thicker, preventing sperm from reaching the uterus, greatly reducing the chances of pregnancy.

Menstruation should go down in the week of pause, when no patch is used. 

Advantages and disadvantages 

The main advantages of using the contraceptive patch is not having to take a medication every day and the main disadvantage is that women who are overweight should not use it, because the accumulation of fat under the skin makes it difficult for hormones to enter the blood, compromising its effectiveness. See the table below:

Benefits Disadvantages
Very effective Can be seen by others
It’s easy to use Does not protect against STDs
Does not prevent sexual intercourse May cause skin irritation

What to do if the sticker comes off 

If the patch peels off the skin for more than 24 hours, a new patch should be applied immediately and a condom used for 7 days. 

What to do if you forget to change the sticker on the right day 

The patch does not lose its effectiveness before 9 days of use, so if you forget to change the patch on the 7th day, you can change it as soon as you remember as long as it does not exceed 2 days of the change day. 

Possible side effects

The effects of the transdermal patch are the same as for the pill, including skin irritation, vaginal bleeding, fluid retention, increased blood pressure, dark skin patches, nausea, vomiting, breast pain, cramps, abdominal pain, nervousness, depression, dizziness, hair loss and increased vaginal infections. In addition, like any hormonal therapy, the patch can cause changes in appetite and hormonal imbalances facilitating weight gain and making women fat. 

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