What is it?
How does the contraceptive patch work?
The patch releases a daily dose of hormones ( oestrogen and progestogen) through the skin into the blood stream. It stops ovulation, thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm reaching an egg and thins the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation of a fertilised egg.
How to use the Contraceptive Patch.
A new patch is used each week for 3 weeks out of 4. When a patch is first applied it should remain in place for 7days then should be removed and a new patch applied immediately. This routine should be done for 3 weeks. When the third patch has been removed you now have 7 days without using a patch (patch-free week). During this time you will get a withdrawal bleed. On the eighth day a new patch requires to be applied then continue to use the patch as advised above.
How effective is the contraceptive patch?
It is over 99% effective if used according to instructions
What are the advantages of the contraceptive patch?
You only have to replace a new patch once a week.. It may help with premenstrual symptoms and may make periods lighter and less painful.
What are the disadvantages of the contraceptive patch?
It is not suitable for very overweight women (BMI of 35 or above) or those over 35yrs who smoke. It can cause temporary side effects such as headaches, nausea, mood changes and breast tenderness. It may be seen and can cause irritation. There is a small risk of a serious complication such as a blood clot (thrombosis) or a stroke. Pregnancy has these risks as well!
Does the contraceptive patch protect against Sexually Transmitted infections?
No, condoms are the only form of contraception which give protection against some infections.