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Birth Control Patch Questions

Birth control patches are also known as contraceptive patches. This form of birth control comes in a transdermal patch which releases estrogen and progestin when applied to certain parts of the body. The birth control patch is usually just as effective at preventing pregnancy as an oral birth control pill. However, the patch must be changed weekly. To learn more about the birth control patch, take a look below at the questions that have been answered by the Experts.

If three home pregnancy tests are negative, is it possible for a woman to still be pregnant if she was using the birth control patch and then stopped?

Generally, when a woman takes three pregnancy tests a week after she missed a period or three weeks after she last had sex and all the tests show negative, the chances are that she is not pregnant. However, if all three tests were taken before her HCG levels had time to rise, there may be a chance that she is pregnant. Basically, Over-The-Counter pregnancy tests are only up to 99% accurate. In many cases, a woman will still need to have a doctor perform a blood pregnancy test to determine whether or not she is pregnant.

Also, in several situations, when a woman stops using a birth control patch, it may take a couple of months for her cycle to regulate. The woman may also notice a difference in her periods and they may be more uncomfortable since she has been using the birth control patch for some time. In this scenario, Ibuprofen works well for aches and pains associated with periods.

Are blood clots, chest pains, headaches and panic attacks common side effects while on the birth control patch?

Case details: Currently taken a ten day break from the patch.

While it is usually rare to develop blood clots while using birth control, it is still possible. In most cases, the hormones in the birth control patch are completely out of the woman's system within 2-3 days after discontinuing use of the patch. In several situations, chest pains are brought on by panic attacks but a trip to the emergency room can generally determine if there is more to the pain than just a panic attack. Headaches are also common and are generally brought on by stress, fatigue or dehydration. In many cases, these issues can be corrected with rest, plenty of water and taking Ibuprofen.

Can switching from a birth control pill to a birth control patch cause irregular bleeding?

Generally, when a person switches to a birth control pill or from a pill to a birth control patch, the body usually takes some time to accept the hormones. While adjusting, the body may require a month or two before regulating itself. In many cases the woman may experience spotting, bleeding and cramps which are all very common side effects at this time. The cramping can usually be controlled by taking Motrin, Advil or Aleve every six hours for a couple of days. However, in case the bleeding or cramps persist, it may be advisable to get this checked out by an OB/GYN.

I am on the patch and have started my periods a week early. What should I do?

Case details: Weigh 195 lbs, also have anxiety issues.

There could be many causes for this bleeding. To begin with, the birth control patch is generally only guaranteed for women who weigh 180 lbs or less. In this situation, it may be advisable to take a pregnancy test. If the test is negative a THS thyroid blood test can be run. . In addition, a pelvic exam may also be in order to check for polyps as well as a PAP smear in case it has been over a year since this was last performed.

In certain cases, anxiety and stress may sometimes cause unexplained spotting. If the tests seem normal, it is possible that the cause of the bleeding may be due to the woman’s body weight if it is exceeding the suggested weight for the birth control patch. If this is the problem, it can be fixed by changing the contraceptive. Women who weigh more than 180 lbs generally do well using Mirena IUD instead.

Can someone change a birth control patch a day late?

It is alright for a person to change the birth control patch one day late. In other words, the person would still be protected from becoming pregnant if the patch is only one day overdue. However, if the birth control patch is changed a day late, the person will need to remember the original switch day the next time she has to change a patch. This means that if a woman was supposed to change her patch on a Friday but forgot and changed the patch on Saturday, the following week the patch will have to be changed on a Friday. By doing this, the woman will continue on schedule.

There are many forms of birth control available in the market today and it is possible for a woman to be confused by all the options to choose from. Apart from the safety of using birth control, another issue that women consider is convenience when choosing the right birth control method. If you have questions or concerns regarding the birth control patch, ask an Expert for medical insights and suggestions based on the details of your case.
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