Healthwatch: Contraceptive Options

As the mother of a two-year-old, take it from me, although they are cute babies are a lot of work. That's why many people choose to put off having children until they are ready. Over the years the most popular contraceptive has been birth control pills. However, doctors say that is somewhat changing.

"There's a relatively new patch for contraception that uses the same hormonal directive as the pill but it's used by absorbing through the skin rather than taking it and digesting it through the GI system," says Dr. Gregory Lyman.

Here's how the patch works: For three weeks of each month a patch is worn on the body. Each week the patch is changed and the new patch is placed on a different part of the body. On the fourth week during menstruation, the patch is not worn. Although it seems simple, the big question is 'is it really affective?

"It's just as affective when used properly," says Dr. Lyman.

Unlike the pill, which is almost 40-years-old, the patch has been on the market for less than five years. Although still relatively new, Dr. Lyman says research has shown the patch to be just as safe as the pill and have similar side affects.

Although over the years the number and types of contraceptives have changed, Dr. Lyman says there is one thing that has not.

"Statistically, the pill is still the best and most effective method. It has about a 99 percent effectiveness rate when used properly."

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