STD Home > More Info on Indications for the Birth Control Patch
How Does the Birth Control Patch Work?The birth control patch slowly and consistently releases hormones (an estrogen and a progestin), which are absorbed into the bloodstream. It primarily works to prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the maturation and release of eggs from the ovaries). However, it also prevents pregnancy in two other minor ways. The birth control patch alters the cervical mucus (the fluid of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow part of the uterus that is connected to the vagina), making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. The birth control patch also alters the lining of the uterus (called the endometrium), making it less receptive to an embryo.
The Birth Control Patch Use in Children and TeensThe birth control patch is approved for use in women of reproductive age. This means that it is not approved for use in girls who have not yet had their first menstrual period.
Off-Label Birth Control Patch UsesOn occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend the birth control patch for something other than contraception. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, off-label birth control patch uses include the treatment of the following conditions:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Painful menstrual periods
- Irregular menstrual periods
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).