Contraception- The Patch and Ring
This week we are going to have a two for one discussion about two types of contraception. We will soon be finished with our series on contraception but I promise we will come back to discuss other elements of the subject, namely those that are more permanent in nature.
So why are we talking about both of these together? Well namely because they work in the same manner. Let’s start with the first.
Now, it has been many years since I have heard anyone talk about the contraceptive patch but they do exist and may be an appropriate option for you. In many ways the contraception patch is like the pill. The difference is the length of its effectiveness. The patch is placed on the skin and left there for three weeks. You will want to place it on your bum, outer arm, upper back (cheek too just not your breast), or tummy. After three weeks you remove it and begin your period. When your menstruation has come to an end you start with a new patch. The patch should not fall off but it can happen.
The vaginal ring, or NuvaRing, has the same concept except that it cannot be seen. The ring is a small flexible plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina. You leave it there for three weeks and remove it for the fourth week of the month to start your period. You should start with a new ring at the end of your period. They are typically transparent and should be easy to remove. At the same time to the ring should not fall out easily. They are discreet and should not get in the way of everyday activities.
Both of these forms of contraception work in the same way as the pill. They can use the same hormones in the same manner. They prevent the release of eggs from the ovaries, thin out the lining of the uterus, and thicken the mucus of the cervix. We have talked about all of these a few times now so I will avoid going into too much detail. Once again it is the slow release of progesterone that prevents pregnancy and this is down through contact with the skin/inner organs.
Just like the Implant and IUD, the aim behind the patch and the ring is the make taking birth control less cumbersome. Unlike the IUD and Implant, the patch and ring are not considered permanent. You only need to remember to change them once a month. Just like all the other hormone contraceptions you will not be protected from STDs and should use other forms of protection if that is a concern for you or your partner. We discussed all of the ins and outs of condoms last week.
I know this is a shorter post but being as though we have gone over much of the basics involved in many contraceptive devices I have decided to take a break from them for a short time. Next week I wish to discuss the full work up on how one becomes pregnant from start to finish and also on a cellular level. It may take a couple of weeks but I hope you will tune in if you are interested.