There are a number of types of birth control available — 12 in fact — to help ensure women and couples can find the option that works best for them. One good possibility for many is the patch.
Whether you're exploring contraception options, seeking preventive care or treatment for a health issue, or expecting a baby, Dr. Thomas Hatchett, our midwife nurse practitioner Britteny Barron, and our team at Habersham OBGYN in Demorest, Georgia, can help. We provide top-notch individualized care for women of all ages in a caring and comfortable environment.
The birth control patch works similarly to many birth control pills by using the hormones estrogen and progestin to stop ovulation. Without ovulation, a woman will not release an egg, which makes fertilization with sperm (and therefore pregnancy) impossible. In addition, the hormones cause the mucus on a woman's cervix to thicken, which prevents sperm from reaching the egg if for some reason one was released.
The birth control patch is transdermal, so the released hormones enter the body through the skin. The patch can be worn on the upper body, lower abdomen, upper outer arm, or on the buttocks. It should not be placed on the breasts or anywhere that it will be rubbed and potentially dislodged by clothing.
A new patch is applied every week for three weeks. In the fourth week, no patch is worn, which will result in a period. For the highest chance of success, the new patch must be applied on the same day each week.
There are a number of benefits to using the patch. Women are able to take charge of their fertility without having to remember to take a pill every day and the level of hormones released into the body stays steady. In addition, moments of intimacy are not interrupted by having to deal with contraception. Finally, if a woman decides she wants to become pregnant, the patch can be easily removed to allow for a fast return to fertility.
For the birth control patch to be the most effective, it is important to use it correctly. When employed perfectly, the patch results in pregnancy less than one out of one hundred times. However, in real life conditions, its effectiveness is 91 to 93%.
One common problem that can affect its success rate is not changing the patch on time. The patch coming loose from the skin for an extended period can also reduce its effectiveness.
Whether you're interested in learning more about your contraception options or already know you want a prescription for the birth control patch, call our office at 706-229-4718 for an appointment today or book one online.