What Does Mean?

The Patch

What is it?

The patch is a hormonal birth control method that is a small patch, sort of like a Band-Aid, that is worn on the skin on the stomach, buttocks, upper arm or upper body. The patch contains two different hormones, estrogen and progestin, that are released through the skin. These hormones keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries and make it harder for sperm to fertilize the eggs.

A new patch is worn each week for three weeks of every month. No patch is worn during the 4th week, when you will get your period. The patch is made to stay on and not fall off, even when you shower or go swimming.

What are some advantages?

  • The patch is very (92-99%) effective when used correctly.
  • It is easy to use – you just apply one patch once a week.
  • It can make periods more regular and less painful.
  • It is very private although not completely hidden.

What are some disadvantages?

  • Does not protect against STDs; use a condom correctly every time you have sex.
  • You have to remember to change the patch on a regular schedule.
  • Some people don’t like that the patch can be seen on the body.
  • The patch may cause irregular bleeding.
  • There may be other risks and disadvantages of the patch. Your healthcare provider will discuss these with you.

Where and how do you get it?

Only a healthcare provider can help you decide if the patch is right for you. Your healthcare provider will talk to you about correct use and answer any questions you have.