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How to Use a Birth Control Patch

The birth control patch is another form of hormonal birth control. By using the same hormones as the pill, this contraceptive method is one of the most effective. This article provides information on what a birth control patch is, the advantages of using it, and steps on proper usage.

birth control patch

There are many forms of contraception available today. Hormonal birth control like contraceptive pills are the most popular but also the most tedious to take. IUDs, although convenient since they can last for five to ten years after insertion, carry serious risks like infertility. Cervical caps and diaphragms, on the other hand, rely on correct placement rather than preventing ovulation and fertilization. If you want to try an effective and convenient form of birth control, you can opt to use contraceptive patches.

The birth control patch is another form of hormonal birth control. It uses the same hormones found in oral contraceptive pills but is administered through the skin rather than the mouth. A week's worth of estrogen and progesterone are contained in the 4.5-centimeter square beige adhesive patch. Sold under the brand Ortho-Evra, the birth control patch's growing popularity is often attributed to several key advantages that make it a viable contraceptive option.

Advantages of using a birth control patch

* Convenience

The patch is good for a week. Since it only needs to be replaced once a week, there is no need to maintain a strict daily schedule similar to pill package cycles.

* Ease of use

The patch is usually attached to the woman's abdomen, upper arms, upper torso, or buttocks by means of a built-in adhesive. The hormones in the patch seep through the skin to the bloodstream without the pain of injections or hassles of taking pills.

* Effectiveness

Using a birth control patch guarantees a 95% success in preventing pregnancies. This means that with correct and consistent use of the patch, only five women out of 100 will get pregnant.

However, as effective as birth control patch is in preventing pregnancy, it still relies on consistent and correct use. Below is a guide on using birth control patches:

Using a birth control patch

1. Apply the patch on the first day of your menstrual cycle.

Like most methods of hormonal birth control, the patch must be used in sync with your menstrual cycle. Stick the patch on any of the following areas: upper arm, abdomen, upper torso, or buttocks. It is advisable to stick the patch to areas that more most infrequently exposed to minimize chances of peeling off. Also ensure that the area to be covered by the patch is free of any cut, lesions, or rashes.

2. Wear the patch even when doing daily activities.

Do not remove the patch unless the week is over and it is time to change it again. You can do normal activities like swimming, bathing, and others without ruining the patch. Just avoid scrubbing the patch-covered area too much.

3. Change the patch weekly for three weeks.

You will need a new patch weekly for three weeks. Do not apply the patch on the spot of the previous patch as this can lead to irritation. Remember to change the patch on the same day every week to ensure a balance cycle. For example, if you applied your first patch on Monday, all succeeding patches must be applied on a Monday too.

4. Go patch-free on the fourth week.

On your fourth week, forego using the patch to allow your body to have a period. Resume using the patch on the first week of your next cycle. Remember not to reposition the patch after you have applied it since doing so loosens the adhesive.


How to Get Birth Control Through Planned Parenthood

With the rising cost of birth control, many women are looking for low-cost but effective contraceptive options. Planned Parenthood is one such provider of low-cost birth control. This article provides a guide on how to get birth control through Planned Parenthood easily.

how to get birth control

There are many kinds of birth control methods available today so choosing which one to use is easy. The many clinics and pharmacies that sell these methods also solve the problems of availability and accessibility. However, many women are still opting out of using birth control despite the variety of options, ease of availability, and accessibility. The rising cost of birth control is the primary reason more and more women are opting out of birth control use. They risk unintended pregnancies and other problems by using less effective forms of protection rather than spend a lot on birth control pills and other contraceptive methods.

If you are one of the many women tempted to give up on birth control amid its rising cost, there are ways to get cheap but effective contraceptives. One such option is through Planned Parenthood. Here is a guide on how to get birth control through Planned Parenthood:

1. Visit the Planned Parenthood website.

Visiting the Planned Parenthood website can give you several benefits. First, you will get more information about your reproductive health. Second, you can find out where the Planned Parenthood clinic nearest to you is located. Third, you can learn more about the different birth control options available prior to your visit. You can read and print the provided fact sheets and come up with some questions that confuse you. This way, you can clear the confusion with a Planned Parenthood health professional when you come in for a visit.

2. Print information forms that you may need.

Your appointment with a Planned Parenthood clinic will not start until after you have completed filling out the necessary forms. To save you time, Planned Parenthood made these forms available in its website so you can print out the forms you need and fill them out at your convenience prior to your visit. Different forms are available for annual gynecological exam, STD checkups, emergency contraception, birth control, and pregnancy test. Print out all the forms you need.

3. Fill out forms accurately, honestly, and completely.

This step is crucial to getting the right birth control method. A Planned Parenthood clinician will review your medical history through the information you provided on the forms. This is essential since some forms of contraception pose risks to women with certain conditions. Inaccuracy or providing wrong and misleading information can lead to incorrect diagnosis and prescription of inappropriate birth control.

4. Choose and undergo your exam option.

Prior to being given or administered with contraceptives, you have to undergo a gynecological exam. Planned Parenthood offers four options. You can choose to undergo the examination at the Planned Parenthood clinic, at another doctor's office, have delayed exam, or not have one at all. For the last option, a Planned Parenthood clinician will determine if you are at high risk for conditions that may get worse with birth control use. If you are not at risk for any conditions, you may be able to forego the exam.

5. Schedule visits for check ups.

After the exam, you will be given or administered with the right contraception for you at a lower cost. Schedule regular visits so that clinicians at Planned Parenthood can monitor how well the contraception method is working for you.


How to Prepare for a Mammography and What to Expect

Despite more wide-spread awareness to the risks and dangers of breast cancer, many women are reluctant to take the initiative and schedule for a mammogram screening. They are either apprehensive about stories they have heard, fearful about “what ifs,” or don’t know what to expect.

This 894-word article was written for the countless women world-wide who ask the tentative question, “Is a mammogram really necessary?”

Breast cancer, cancer, mammography, mammography screening, mammogram, x-ray, x-rayed, x-rays

Although it usually occurs in women over 35 years of age, breast cancer knows no age, race, social, or lifestyle barriers. It can strike any woman at any time, regardless whether or not she has ever smoked, taken an alcoholic beverage, or ever taken birth control.

Although certain factors can increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer, every woman is at risk. Even women who have never experienced a day of illness in their entire lives can fall victim.

<b>Breast Cancer – No Longer a Taboo Subject</b>

Breast cancer is no longer a taboo topic of conversation. As breast cancer awareness increases so do a woman’s ability to take responsibility by taking preventive measures. Routine self-examinations and mammography screenings go a long way in detecting breast cancer while still in the early stages. Early detection greatly minimizes the seriousness of cancer if it is detected, and increases a woman’s chance for survival.

Yet, many women remain reluctant to take the initiative and schedule for a mammography screening. One reason is due of the fear of the unknown. Women who have never had one don’t know what to expect.

This article was written with these women in mind. It outlines what to expect during a mammogram, and tells how to prepare for one. Many women who have been reluctant to schedule for a mammography screening will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the procedure itself is not nearly as intimidating as imagined.

<b>The Mammography Screening</b>

Let’s begin with how to prepare for a mammogram. When scheduling for a mammogram, opt for a time when your breasts are least likely to be tender. This is usually the week following menstruation. Breasts are most apt to be sensitive just before and during your menstrual cycle.

Once you have secured an appointment, you will be instructed to avoid the use of deodorants, powders, lotions, creams or perfumes under your arms or around your breasts on the day of your mammogram. This is because metallic particles contained in powders, deodorants, and perfumes could be visible on the mammogram, making results confusing.

<b>The Day of the Mammography</b>

The day of your test you might want to avoid wearing jewelry, since you will be asked to remove jewelry for the test. You might also want to wear a two-piece outfit, since you will have to remove everything from the waist up.

Aspirin or another over the counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or ibuprofen can be taken about an hour before the mammogram to help ease any discomfort experienced during testing.

Once you arrive for your test, you will be given an examination gown. You will be asked to remove jewelry, if you are wearing any and all clothing from the waist up.

<b>What Happens During the Mammography Screening?</b>

During the procedure you will stand in front of an X-ray machine, specifically designed for mammography purposes. A technician will place one of your breasts on a platform that holds the X-ray film. The platform will be adjusted to your height; the technician will adjust your posture and position your body for an unobstructed view of your breast.

It is necessary that your breast be carefully pressed against the platform by use of a clear plastic plate used to spread out breast tissue. This is essential so that the X-rays can penetrate the tissue. You may find this uncomfortable, or even a little painful. If discomfort is too great, tell the technician.

During X-ray exposure, you will be asked to stand still and hold your breath. Try to relax. Exposure time will be brief. The same process will be repeated for your other breast.

<b>After the Mammogram</b>

After both breasts have been X-rayed, you may be asked to wait until the technician checks the quality of the images. If the views are not adequate, you may have to be x-rayed. If the images are clear, you will be able to dress, and go about your day.

The entire procedure usually takes less than a half hour. A radiologist will study the x-rays. He will be looking for evidence of cancerous or non-cancerous conditions. After he examines the images, the radiologist will send your doctor a written report with the results of the tests.

Possible findings include things such as calcium deposits, most of which are benign, and masses of lumps. He will also look for distorted tissues, and areas of denseness that appear in only one breast. If the radiologist notes any areas of concern in his report, further tests will be recommended, just to be on the safe side. Roughly 5 to 15 percent of mammogram testing is followed by further testing.

<b>Important Reminders</b>

While mammography is a very good way to help determine whether or not cancer is present, it isn’t fool proof. Very small cancers or cancers located in a difficult to see area might not show up on the mammogram.

A mammography also is not without potential risks. During the mammogram screening you will be briefly exposed to low-dose radiation. Even so, the benefits of mammography far outweigh possible risks, especially for women over age 40.

Having a mammogram might not be top on your list of things you enjoy doing, but it nevertheless increases a woman’s chance at longevity. Mammogram screening is an effective tool that could prove life saving. That is because early detection remains a woman’s best defense in the fight against her number one enemy; breast cancer.

Every year the third Friday in October is National Mammography Day. For more information about breast cancer, visit the quick content pages at Writers Write Now web site.

©2006 Lori S. Anton
Writers Write Now


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