The Contraceptive patch
The contraceptive patch is another combined hormonal method like the combined pill and works in much the same way to prevent pregnancy. If you're not a fan of taking the pill orally every day and are a bit squeamish about the IUS or Injection then this could be a great option.
Essentially the contraceptive patch is just that - a small sticky patch measuring around 5cmx 5cm which is worn on the skin and releases oestrogen and progestogen into your body to prevent ovulation.
The patch must be worn in a clean, dry place on your body where it is unlikely for it to be rubbed off. Each patch lasts for one week, and like the pill you must use them for three weeks (so one per week) and have a seven day break without wearing one.
Just in case you're worried, the patch is totally waterproof so you can wear it in the bath/shower/swimming pool without having to worry!
- Each patch lasts one week so it's good for those who do not want to take anything daily.
- It's more than 99% effective.
- Unlike the combined pill, it is effective even if you are sick or have diarrhoea.
- You do not have a 'normal' period because it prevents ovulation, so your monthly bleed is much lighter and shorter.
- It can prevent against ovarian cancer, cancer of the womb and colon.
- Can cause mild skin irritation.
- Women can be put off because it is visible.
- Some women can develop a blood clot due to the patch but this is very rare.
- This is not suitable for women over 35 who smoke and/or are overweight.