The contraceptive patch is a method of contraception.
The contraceptive patch is a thin beige or transparent sticking-plaster. It contains the same two hormones as the contraceptive pill. These hormones prevent ovulation. They also make it more difficult for sperm cells to reach the mucous membrane of the cervix. The sperm cells will then have difficulties reaching the uterus, where the egg cell is located. The hormones also interfere with the implantation of an egg cell.
Apply the patch as follows:
- Tear the pouch open at the incision.
- Open the packaging.
- Peel the patch and its plastic wrapping away from the pouch.
- Peel away half of the plastic wrapping.
- Apply the patch on your abdomen, buttock, back, shoulder blade or on the outside of your upper arm on dry, clean skin.
- Apply the sticky surface of the patch to your skin and remove the rest of the plastic wrapping. Press the patch down firmly.
- Wear the patch for seven days (1 week). Remove the patch.
- Apply a new one on the same day of the week (for example, Wednesday) in the 2nd and 3rd week.
- In the 4th week, you do not use a patch. This week, you will start to bleed (menstrual period). You are protected from getting pregnant within this week.
- After seven days (1 week), you apply a new patch on the same day (for example, Wednesday), even if you are still bleeding.
- Repeat the previous steps.
The contraceptive patch is very reliable if used correctly.
The patch is not reliable or is less reliable, if:
- You are taking certain medicines such as St John’s wort. Tell your doctor you are using the contraceptive patch. He will take this into account when prescribing medications.
- You forget to apply the patch after the 7-day break, or if you forget to change it, or if you forget to replace the patch.
- You lose the patch and do not apply a new one within 24 hours (1 day).
- You weigh more than 90 Kg.
You can shower, swim and exercise with the contraceptive patch. It won't make it less effective.
The contraceptive patch contains hormones. These hormones usually do not affect your health. However, in some cases, it is better to choose a different method of contraception. Ask a doctor for advice.
The contraceptive patch does not make you less fertile. If you want to get pregnant, you remove the patch.
During the first months of using the contraceptive patch, you may have side-effects such as tender breasts, headache, nausea or irritated skin. These effects usually disappear spontaneously. If they do not disappear, consult a doctor.
Your menstrual periods often become less heavy and less painful.
The contraceptive patch does not protect against STIs or HIV.
Only a condom can protect you.
You do not need a prescription from a healthcare provider to buy the contraceptive patch if you are over 14 in Nigeria (18 years in Lagos). You can buy the contraceptive patch in a pharmacy or at a private hospital.
In public hospitals, you can get it for free.