Medicine and technology have made so many different forms of contraceptives and birth controls available. For someone who is just getting into birth control methods, you’ll find so many options that it can be a bit confusing. From invasive birth control methods to birth control pills or even arm patch contraceptives, how do you choose?
Visiting your doctor will help you understand which birth control method is most suitable for your body. But you should also do your research and understand the pros and cons of each type of birth control. In this article, we’ll explain what the arm patch contraceptive is, how it works and whether or not it is safe.
What is the arm patch birth control?
The birth control patch is a small patch that is stuck on to your arm, lower belly, or back mainly. This form of contraceptive sends hormones through the skin. It works in a similar way to birth control pills or a vaginal ring, but might be easier to use and less uncomfortable.
How does the birth control patch work?
This birth control method prevents you from getting pregnant by increasing your estrogen and progestin hormones in your bloodstream through the skin. These hormones work on stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg as well as thickening the mucus around the cervix to prevent the sperms from swimming. This lowers the chances of eggs being fertilized inside the womb and getting pregnant.
Advantages and disadvantages of the arm patch contraceptive
Advantages of the arm patch contraceptive:
- It’s very easy to use
- You can still have sex
- You don’t have to think about taking it/changing it everyday like the contraceptive pill
- It still works even if you’re sick or have diarrhea as the hormones are absorbed through the blood and not the stomach.
- It doesn’t increase your period blood flow but helps regulate it and make it lighter and pain-free in some cases
- It can help reduce PMS
- It may reduce the risk of ovarian, womb, and bowel cancer
Disadvantages of the arm patch contraceptive:
- It is visible
- In some cases, it can cause skin irritation, itching, and soreness
- It doesn’t protect you against STDs
- Some women get side effects such as headaches, nausea, mood swings, and breast tenderness
- You can experience bleeding or spotting between periods
- Certain medication can impact the efficacy of the arm patch contraceptive
- It needs to be changed every week
Are there any risks or side effects of using the arm patch birth control?
The arm patch birth does not come without risks. In fact, there are side effects you may or may not experience:
- Bleeding or spotting
- Skin irritation
- Sore breasts
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach cramps
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Muscle spasms
- Vaginal infections and discharge
- Fluid retention
In some cases, you can even experience a risk of blood clotting, heart attacks, strokes, or high blood pressure as a result of the increased estrogen level in your blood. Be sure to check with your doctor first before choosing this or any form of contraceptive.
How effective is the birth control patch?
When used correctly, the arm patch birth control has a 99% efficacy for preventing pregnancy. That means that 1 in every 100 women will get pregnant during the first year of using the birth control patch. However, because some women forget to change the arm patch every week or start using it on the wrong day of the cycle, the estimated pregnancy rate when using the arm patch contraceptive is 7-9 women in every 100 women.
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