New Type Of Contraception – Hormonal PatchFebruary 22, 2019
Far from every pregnancy is desirable – in some cases, such a surprise can completely knock a woman out of a rut and confront a difficult choice. To avoid this, you should carefully consider the method of protection, the benefit, modern pharmacology and reproductology provides for this a variety of convenient and effective means. One of the effective ways to prevent unwanted pregnancy is a contraceptive patch – a small sticker impregnated with hormonal substances that inhibit the processes of conception in a woman’s body. How this patch works, how effective and safe it is, a little instruction on the use of an innovative contraceptive will help to sort out.
A new method of contraception belongs to the group of hormonal agents that protect against unwanted pregnancy. Externally, a hormonal patch is a very thin and absolutely smooth adhesive plaster, usually solid or milky in color, with an area of the order of 20-25 cm square. As a rule, in the middle of such a plaster is a thin napkin, soaked through with contraceptive hormones, which, soaking into the blood, block ovulation and prevent pregnancy. In most cases, the following pharmaceutical preparations form the basis of the effective composition of a hormonal patch:
- Ethinyl estradiol is a synthetic analogue of female reproductive hormones that regulates calcium absorption, the work of internal genital organs and the severity of secondary sexual characteristics.
- Norelgestromin is a drug that rapidly and delicately inhibits the ovulatory mechanism, and also prevents the free movement of sperm into the fallopian tubes.
In combination, these medicines provide guaranteed protection against unwanted pregnancy in 99.4% of cases, which is certainly a good result. However, the concentration of the hormone preparations of the patch is not enough for more than 7 days – a week after sticking the patch you will have to use a new plate.
Due to the mild effect of synthetic hormones penetrating percutaneously, this method is sometimes recommended not only as a contraceptive – the patch can cope with the hormonal imbalance in a woman’s body, and can be used for menopausal changes and menstrual disorders. However, in this case, the recommended method of use, the duration of wearing and the regular replacement of the plate should be discussed with your doctor – in such cases, the classical instruction may be useless.
The positive side of the adhesive method of contraception
The increasing popularity of hormonal patches among women is quite simple to explain with an incredible number of significant advantages of this innovative method. Among them are:
- Free sex life without restrictions. The use of the patch implies that the girl may enter into intimacy at any time of the day and on any day of the cycle – the effectiveness of contraception does not change depending on the time frame.
- Hygiene Unlike many hormonal agents, the plaster does not cause a sharp jump in the level of hormones in the body, therefore the composition, consistency and intensity of vaginal secretions also remain unchanged.
- Ease of use. Hormonal plaster is one of the most convenient and affordable methods of contraception. You do not have to monitor the presence of condoms before each sexual intercourse, use pills daily, install all sorts of foreign objects in the genitals – just change the sticker once a week.
- Low dose of hormones. Since synthetic hormonal substances are delivered through the skin continuously, much lower dosage is required to ensure effective contraception than tablets.
- Delicate exposure. The active ingredients of the patch do not affect the gastrointestinal tract, acting directly into the blood through the dermal cells. This avoids the negative effects of hormones on the gastric mucosa. In addition, the use of the sticker does not affect the condition of the vaginal mucosa, does not cause erosion and other problems, such as the intrauterine device or ring.
- Positive effect on the menstrual cycle. If you have previously experienced problems with regularity and painful periods, the patch can solve them, while ensuring reliable contraception.
Disadvantages of contraceptive patch
Like any other method of contraception, hormone label has several disadvantages. First, by using this method, it is far from always possible to avoid side effects – although the dose of hormones is small, their effects on the body cannot be completely ignored. Some girls report inflammation and itching at the site of sticking, headaches, nausea, bouts of dizziness. However, such a side effect is the exception rather than the rule.
Secondly, it is extremely difficult to completely hide a rather voluminous sticker under clothing, and such addition to the outfit does not always look appropriate. The combination of a hormonal patch with an evening dress with an open back or low jeans and a short top is not the best solution, so you should think in advance about the wardrobe and the place of gluing the contraceptive in advance.
Thirdly, you will have to give up long-term relaxation in the bathroom, sauna or steam room – the plaster can come off from the abundant contact with water and it will have to be replaced. At the same time, the cost of each sticker varies in the range above the average, so it’s impossible to name such a method of contraception as a budget.
But most importantly – the hormonal patch does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases transmitted through intimate contact. Therefore, this method of contraception can be used only if you are completely confident in your partner and are not inclined to casual relationships – otherwise it is better to choose a condom.
Not in each case, you can use the adhesive method of contraception – this method has a number of contraindications and restrictions. To the absolute are:
- tumors in the genital area of any origin and localization;
- tendency to increased thrombosis;
- liver disease;
- Individual intolerance to the components of the patch.
Important! The plaster also does not guarantee a high degree of effectiveness if the woman’s weight exceeds 90 kg – in this case, the dose of hormones may not be sufficient for high-quality contraception.
In addition, the use of the adhesive plaster should be postponed for breastfeeding time or at least 4 weeks after delivery – during this time hormones should return to normal, after which you can choose any convenient method of contraception.
How to use a hormonal patch? Instructions for beginners
A detailed scheme of the use of a hormonal patch should be described by the attending physician – only in this case, you can be confident in the effectiveness of the chosen method of contraception. However, the standard gluing instruction is as follows:
- The first patch is attached to the body of a woman on the first day of the menstrual cycle, that is, with the appearance of bloody discharge from the vagina. The date of the first sticking, day of the week and time are best recorded on a calendar, organizer or “reminder” – these data are extremely important to ensure high contraceptive results.
- A week later, carefully remove the plaster and fasten a new one on the body. At the same time try to stick each new plate near the location of the previous one, but not on top of it – so you reduce the likelihood of skin problems and dermatitis.
- After another seven days, repeat the procedure, sticking a new hormonal patch to the body.
- After three weeks of continuous wear, take a break for no more than 7 days – at this time you should have your period.
- After a week break, do not forget to glue the new patch, while repeating the contraceptive cycle from the very beginning.
It is necessary to take into account not only the regularity of the change of hormonal patches, but also the optimal place for its gluing. So, most often the contraceptive is attached to the shoulder, buttocks, in the area of the shoulder blades or the lower abdomen, that is, where it will, on the one hand, be less noticeable, and on the other, will not cause inconvenience, constantly peeling off.
The skin in the place of attachment of the hormonal patch should be:
- Clean. It is advisable not to apply creams, oils and other care products to the body before gluing, as oily cosmetics will increase the likelihood of the patch to come off.
- Without damage. Any scratch, pimple and other minor skin defects under the influence of hormonal substances from the patch can cause dermatitis, itching and other skin problems.
- Flat. Places of folds are not the best area for sticking, because there the patch will constantly lag behind and in the end the week will not last.
- Free. If you prefer to wear T-shirts or low jeans, make sure that the edge of the clothes does not fall on a hormonal patch – even the softest fabric will rub and cause discomfort. It is better to choose a zone that is completely open or, on the contrary, hidden under clothes.
- Without hair. It is advisable to shave or epilate the existing vegetation before attaching a hormonal patch – so, firstly, it will stick more tightly, and secondly, it will not so painfully lag behind the skin after a week.
Important! The day of the week, on which it is necessary to change the patch to a new one or start a break, is unchanged throughout the course of contraception, since each interval is exactly 7 days. If for any reason you need to slightly move the usual pattern, making it more convenient (for example, replacing the day “X” on Monday), you can do this manipulation only during the 4th week of the cycle during the monthly periods. You can shorten the break by 1 or several days by adjusting the scheme at your own discretion, but in no case should you extend the break – it should be no more than a week.
According to statistics, a hormonal patch is one of the most convenient and effective methods of contraception. However, before making a final decision on methods of protection, it is worth consulting with your doctor – relying on the individual characteristics of a particular patient, research results and clinical history, he will be able to more accurately determine the best means to prevent unwanted pregnancy.