One of the lesser known pregnancy prevention products available is called the birth control patch. The birth control patch is a thin, beige square patch that sticks to the skin. By releasing hormones through the skin into the bloodstream, this birth control method would help prevent pregnancy. By combining the hormones called progesterone and estrogen, the patch prevents ovulation or the release of an egg from the ovaries during a woman’s monthly menstruation. The hormones in the patch also thickens the mucus produced in the cervix, making it difficult for sperm to enter and reach any eggs that may have been released.
Similar to other forms of birth control such as the birth control pill or ring, the user works on the birth control patch based on her menstrual cycle. Normally, the girl puts the patch on the first day of her menstrual cycle, or the first Sunday after her cycle begins. She will then place the patch on her skin once a week for three weeks straight. This patch should be applied to either of the following: buttocks, abdomen, upper arm, or upper torso. On its fourth week, no patch is worn, and the user’s period will then start again during this time.
The sales of birth control patches dipped after a legal complaint was made by a group of 40 women, all of which used a popular birth control patch, directly to the patch’s manufacturer. They claimed that these contraceptives were causing serious health problems. One specific lawsuit claimed that 43 women suffered from blood clots and other ailments after taking a popular branded birth control patch. A second lawsuit stated that a woman of 25 died of severe blood clots in her lungs and legs after she began using this birth control product.
These lawsuits complained that the manufacturer of this birth control patch allegedly failed to warn the public about the risks of using the said product. The plaintiff also claimed that the company deceived the public about the severity of potential side effects, and that includes concealing information about the risk of strokes and severe blood clots. Shawn Khorrami, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, said that this product should not be on the market. When a certain product is put out, giving women more hormones than they need, then you are increasing their risk of developing those ailments. Khorrami also added that similar lawsuits have been filed on behalf of nearly 400 women around the US.
Last September, the FDA warned women regarding the risk of blood clots in the legs and lungs and their use of birth control patches. As a result of the warning, the product label was updated to reflect the data of one study that found women using the patch faced twice the risk of clots than did women on the pill. From this information, women should be careful in choosing their form of birth control. It is advisable for them to go and visit their gynecologist or physician, and try to gather facts about their health history, and choose the best birth control that will suit both their health and lifestyle.