The Contraceptive Patch is a sticky patch similar to a nicotine patch which releases hormones into a woman’s body through her skin to prevent pregnancy.
It can be placed anywhere on the skin, so it is easily concealed from view if you need it to be. Each patch lasts a week, after three weeks you have a week off without wearing a patch.
Like all contraceptive methods other than condoms, the Contraceptive Patch does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
The Contraceptive Patch releases a daily amount of hormones through the skin which enter the bloodstream and prevent pregnancy.
It contains the same hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) as the Combined Contraceptive Pill, and works in the same way.
The Contraceptive Patch works by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg, it also:
- Thickens the mucus in the neck of the womb which prevents sperm getting to the egg
- Makes the lining of the womb thinner, making it harder for a fertilised egg from implanting itself into the womb
The Contraceptive Patch is over 99% effective when used correctly, meaning less than 1 in every 100 women who uses it will become pregnant over a 1 year period.
You should visit your doctors surgery or sexual health clinic and ask about starting to take the Contraceptive Patch. You can find your nearest sexual health clinic here.
- Lasts 1 week
- Still effective if you vomit unlike pill contraceptives
- Does not interrupt sex
- You can wear it in the bath or when swimming and playing sports
- Can help with heavy periods
- May protect against womb, ovarian and bowel cancer
- Can raise blood pressure
- Might be visible on skin
- May not be suitable if you smoke
- May not be suitable if you are overweight
- Side effects of headaches, sickness, breast tenderness and mood swings which usually clear up within 3 months
- Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Bleeding between periods can happen in the first few cycles of use
- Need to remember to change it every week