What is the Contraceptive Patch?

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The contraceptive patch is a sticky patch about 5 cm across that you attach to your skin. It looks a bit like the nicotine patches people use to help them stop smoking, and like the nicotine patch it delivers something through your skin. The contraceptive patch delivers the same kind of hormones as you would get from the contraceptive pill. These hormones prevent you from releasing an egg, which should stop you getting pregnant. The patch is more than 99% effective when it is being used properly.

Advantages of the Patch

Hormonal contraception can be very effective, but some of us have trouble taking pills or find it difficult to remember to do it at the same time every day. If you want a more convenient option, you can make an appointment to get personalized contraception advice at our London clinic. One of the options you might want to discuss when you get contraception advice is the contraceptive patch. It offers the same kind of protection as the pill, but it can be easier to use. It can also be a less permanent or invasive option than a coil or implant.

Disadvantages of the Patch

The patch is more convenient than the pill, but it still needs to be changed every week for three weeks, and then left off for a week so you can have a withdrawal bleed, which is a bit like a period. When you are using the patch, it needs to be kept on at all times. It can usually be hidden under your clothes and it can be kept on while you are in the bath or swimming pool, but this still doesn’t suit everyone. Other potential issues with the patch include the risk of similar side effects to other hormonal contraceptives, like the pill. Your doctor can provide personalized contraception advice to help you decide whether hormonal contraceptives are right for you, and to find one that suits your body and lifestyle.

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