Magazine article Ebony

`Is the [Birth Control] Patch as Effective as the Birth-Control Pill?'

Magazine article Ebony

`Is the [Birth Control] Patch as Effective as the Birth-Control Pill?'

Article excerpt

THE NEW BIRTH-CONTROL PATCH

[Q] I have been using birth-control pills since I was in college, which I finished four years ago. My husband and I aren't ready to start a family yet.

During the time that I have used this method of prevention, I haven't had any problems other than forgetting to take the pill on occasion. That's why I'm interested in the new birth-control patch. Is the patch as effective as the birth-control pill? A.M., Los Angeles

[A] The birth-control patch, which is expected to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration this fall, is--according to medical studies--as effective as the conventional birth-control pill in preventing pregnancy.

The pill, which is taken every day, is 99.9 percent effective if taken properly, doctors say, but mistakes include missing pills and starting the next pack too late. With the patch, women will wear it for seven days before replacing it with a new one, giving women the convenience of not having to remember to take a pill each day. Earlier studies show that nearly 50 percent of women miss one or more pills per cycle.

The patch is to be worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks, upper outer arm or upper torso (not on the breast) and is designed to be worn for three successive weeks then is removed during a woman's menstrual period. Doctors says the patch, like the pill, prevents ovulation by releasing through the skin approximately the same dose of estrogen and progestin as a low-dose combination birth-control pill.

Medical officials say the patch represents the 15th major birth-control option available in the United States.

REPLACING INSULIN INJECTIONS

[Q] For 10 agonizing years, I have had to deal with diabetes. Thankfully, I have been able to control it, but the agony I face is the injections of insulin I have to take every day. I look forward to the day when the needle sticks will no longer be necessary. …

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