How does it work?
- It’s a small patch stuck on to the skin, it releases the hormones estrogen and progestogen. These hormones stop you ovulating, thicken the mucus in the cervix (neck of the womb) to prevent sperm reaching the egg and thin the lining of the womb so that a fertilised egg can’t implant.
- You need to change the patch weekly for three weeks out of four, with one patch free week in four.
What’s good about it?
- It’s over 99% effective.
- It’s easy to put on and remove.
- It’s not affected if you vomit or have diarrhoea.
- It can make periods lighter and less painful.
- It improves acne for some women.
What might the disadvantages be?
- There is a very small risk of serious side effects such as blood clots, breast and cervical cancer.
- There may be temporary side effects such as headaches, breast tenderness or feeling sick.
- You may get some irregular bleeding in the first few months.
- Some medicines can make it less effective.
- It’s important that you follow the instructions for use, or it won’t work effectively and you could become pregnant.
- It might cause skin irritation.
Where can I get it?
- You can get get it from your GP or local sexual health clinic.
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