The contraceptive patch is a small and thin beige patch which is stuck onto the skin.
How does it work?
The contraceptive patch works by releasing the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.
Oestrogen prevents ovulation. This is when the ovaries release an egg each month.
Progesterone thickens the mucus in the cervix so sperm cannot easily pass through and it thins the lining of the womb (endometrium) which makes it difficult for the egg to implant itself.
How long does it last?
Each contraceptive patch lasts for approximately 1 week.
Who can use it?
The contraceptive patch may not be suitable if*:
You have a personal or family history of breast cancer
Have a history of blood clots
Have a history of migraines
You smoke cigarettes
You are over the age of 35 years old
You have a high Body Mass Index (BMI)
How effective is it?
The contraceptive patch is approximately 99% effective if used perfectly and 91% effective with typical use.
There are many advantages to using the contraceptive patch such as:
It can help improve painful or heavy periods
It can help with conditions such as acne, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis
It may improve menopausal and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptom
The disadvantages of the contraceptive patch include:
Lack of prevention against STIs
It is visible
Side effects (e.g. spotting, headaches, breast tenderness, mood changes and nausea)
*This is not an extensive list. Please see your doctor for further advice.
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