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Contraceptive patch

The contraceptive patch is a small, thin, beige coloured patch, nearly 5cm x 5cm in size. You stick it on your skin, anywhere on the body (except the breast tissue) and it releases two hormones – oestrogen and progestogen.

Key facts:

  • It’s 99% effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use
  • It doesn’t interrupt sex
  • Can help make your periods become lighter, more regular and reduce period pains
  • Effectiveness is not impacted by diarrhoea or vomiting, but maybe effected by some medications
  • Can improve acne, but can cause skin irritation to some people
  • No STI protection

How to use: 

Apply one patch once a week (on the same day) for three weeks. The patch should be changed every week for three weeks (21 days) and then you have a patch free week for seven days. After the patch free break, you then apply a new patch. Patches can be worn discreetly on most areas of the body (including the upper arm, shoulder or bum) but should not be applied to the breasts or broken / irritated skin.

The patch can stay on in the shower, bath or sauna and will not come off. Covering the patch with body cream or lotion can cause the patch to become loose.

Download our patient leaflet for more information.