The Birth Control Patch Pros and Cons

Birth control is used by women of various childbearing ages. As soon as you get your first period, your body says that it is ready to make a baby. In the great unlikelihood that you are also ready at that point, a method of birth control that can help you is the birth control patch.


The birth control patch was introduced in the early 2000s as the Ortho Evra patch.  If you’ve ever seen the commercials, it is marketed to the younger generation. Young adults have a lot going on and it is easy to forget to take a birth control pill every day. As a solution, young women can use a birth control patch to keep from getting pregnant.


The patch is a small square that contains two hormones: estrogen and progestin. The hormones are released through the skin when the patch is applied. Each patch is good for one week. After that week is up you apply a new patch for the next week. The fourth week there is no patch because you will experience your period at that time.


Wearing the patch means no missed pills and no awkward forms of contraception like the sponge or the ring. You apply it in a certain place and don’t think about it again until it is time to change it. The birth control patch can be applied to the buttocks, the arm, the lower abdomen or the upper body, excluding the breast area.


The patch has the same side effects as the contraceptive pill. You may experience heavy bleeding, headaches, bloating, cramping and nausea. The patch isn’t for everyone. For instance, there has been some talk that the patch is not as effective in women who weigh over 200 pounds.


Pros of Using the Birth Control Patch:


  • The birth control patch will stay on through normal activities including bathing, swimming and sweating.
  • There is nothing to take. Just adhere the patch and let the hormones do the rest.


Cons of the Birth Control Patch:


  • The levels of estrogen in the patch put women at increased risk for side effects.
  • The patch can come off if you use oils or lotion on or near it. At that point you are unprotected and need a new patch right away.
  • The patch doesn’t protect against sexually-transmitted diseases.
  • The cost can be expensive for a month’s supply (three patches).


For the woman constantly on the go with work or a busy social calendar, the patch means less worry about pregnancy. You can put it on and leave it be to do the job.