Patch Birth Control
by Kim Carter
The newest form of birth control available to women today is supposed to be easier to use, but is the patch birth control really any better than the birth control pill?
After a bit of research, this new way of combating unexpected pregnancy does not seem any easier than the pill we’ve had around for years. Yet, the patch birth control method is portrayed, in television and magazine ads, as a simpler method. As far as I can tell, there are more similarities than differences. For instance…
The patch is worn, rather than ingested and it’s so versatile that you can wear it on your upper outer arm, upper torso, abdomen or buttocks. However, both types of birth control must be utilized in a very specific manner in order to be as effective as possible. And when beginning the use of either, a back up form of birth control must be utilized during the first seven days. So far, so familiar.
The patch can be worn in the shower, when swimming, bathing or exercising. I wonder, though, if you want a tan line around your patch or for everyone to know the details of you birth control methods or sex life? What? Oh. That’s right. You can wear it on you buttocks and then no one would see it underneath of your bikini, if it were not a thong. Certainly, it would be fine there and you wouldn’t forget and scrub it off in the shower somehow.
This is where the patch birth control method becomes more complicated than you are led to believe. When you apply the patch, obviously you must press down on it and around the edges in order to secure it. But what if the patch loses its stickiness and peels away a little or becomes stuck together? Do you figure out another way to secure it? Do you trim away the stuck together piece? NO!! Doing this would alter the effectiveness of your birth control.
Now, based upon my research, it seems that finding a dysfunctional patch is a rare occurrence. I’m not knocking it completely, but there seem to be more to deal with than just slapping a patch onto your skin once a week.
As long as it is used properly, the patch birth control method is 99% effective, just like the pill. It thickens the cervical mucus, which makes it difficult for sperm to enter your uterus and meet up with any egg your body may have released. It also contains the synthetic hormones Progestin and Estrogen, just like the pill, which simulate the hormones your body produces on its own. This prevents ovulation as your body prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs.
There is less to remember with the patch. Birth control made easier, right? Personally, I find it easier to remember something that I have to do every day, than something I do once a week. But that’s just it. It’s personal preference. It is up to you whether or not you want to use the patch. Birth control is something that requires research and you may even find that after using one type, you need to look for something better suited to you and your lifestyle. Ultimately, peace of mind is what the pill and the patch birth control offer, as long as they are used properly. They DO NOT, however, offer protection from STD’s including HIV/AIDS, so in many cases, a condom is still a great idea.
The Final Word
For me, the patch birth control method seems more difficult and risky than the pill. There are more opportunities for human error, than with the pill, even though it is applied/taken less frequently. There is also something about it being stuck on you rather than something you ingest that I think would bother me. I haven’t tried it, mind you. And I’m not saying that I never will. But for now, the pill is doing just fine for me.