1. What is a contraceptive patch?
It is a birth control method consisting of a patch applied to the skin containing hormones estrogen and progesterone similar to those in the combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP). It is approximately 5 x 5cm in size and it is beige in colour.
2. How does the contraceptive patch prevent pregnancy?
- Prevents ovulation
- Reduces and thickens the cervical mucus making it more difficult for the sperm to enter the uterus (womb).
- Reduces the chance of implantation by making the lining of the womb thin.
3. What is the effectiveness of the contraceptive patch?
If used correctly, it is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.
4. Who could use the contraceptive patch?
There are some women who should not use the contraceptive patch:
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure or diabetes especially with complications.
- History of blood clots in the legs.
- History of stroke, heart attacks, breast cancer, cancer of the womb, active liver and gall bladder disease.
- Have contraindication to taking the hormone estrogen.
- Have unexplained vaginal bleeding.
- You are more than 35 years old and smokes.
5. How do I use the contraceptive patch?
The contraceptive patch requires a prescription. Ask your doctor about using a contraceptive You could place the patch either on your buttock, thigh, upper torso or upper arms. Do not place it on your breasts. The patch is worn weekly and changed on the same day of the week. After three weeks, you will have one week of patch free week in which you will bleed. You then continue a new patch again for 3 weeks. patch.
6. What are the possible side effects from using the contraceptive patch?
- Nausea and vomiting
- Breast tenderness
- Irregular bleeding
- Weight gain and bloating
- Skin irritation
7. What if my contraceptive patch falls off?
If the patch falls off, it is better to replace it as soon as possible. If you replace it within 24 hours, you do not need to use other precaution to prevent pregnancy.
8. Should I use the patch on the same part of my body every time?
You should change the patch on different appropriate part of your body each week. It prevents your skin from getting dry or irritated.
8. Could I bath or go swimming with the patch on?
Yes you could, but do not apply lotion or foundation on top of the patch as this may make the patch falls off more easily.
9. What should I do if I plan to get pregnant?
Ideally, you should stop the patch at the end of the patch cycle and wait for one normal menstrual cycle before trying to get pregnant. Majority of women will start their normal menses and ovulation within three cycles.