Contraceptive patch

What is it?

This form of contraception is attached to the arm, like a sticky plaster. It releases oestrogen and progestogen into the body. You use a new patch each week for a total of three weeks, and then, have a week without the patch, before restarting the process.

How does it work?

The patch releases oestrogen and progestogen into the body, which work to prevent the process of ovulation, by thickening cervical mucus and preventing sperm travelling to the cervix. The patch is unlikely to fall off, and is just as effective as the combined pill.

How dependable is it?

The contraceptive patch is 99% effective, and is therefore best used alongside another form of contraception, such as a condom. It does not offer protection against STIs.

Other important information

Your period will likely become less painful, and it will not be affected by sickness. You only need to think about attaching a new patch once every week. Side-effects can include headaches and a rise in blood pressure. The patch is okay to be used in water, but there is a small chance that blood clots may evolve. You should check with your GP to ensure you are okay to use the contraceptive patch.

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