The contraceptive patch acts by slowly releasing daily doses of some hormones through your skin and into your blood in other to prevent pregnancy.
Just as the combined pills, it contains artificial forms of estrogen and progestogen and also produces the same effect by preventing the monthly release of an ovum or egg from your ovaries.
It also causes the cervical mucus secretion to become thicker, thereby stiffening the movement of the sperm through the cervix and it womb mucosal lining to become thinner in other prevent the fertilized egg or ovum from getting implanted.
Fix your new patch and leave it on for 7 days, by the 8th day take it off and put on another one. Make sure you repeat this process every week for 3 weeks and then take a one week patch free break.
During this patch-free week, you will experience a withdrawal-bleed that is period like. However it is not bound to happen every time you take your 7 days break.
Make sure a new patch is applied, when the 7 patch-free days are over and then begin this 4 week (28 days) cycle again. Make sure you start the new cycle, regardless the bleed.
The sticky part of the patch should be placed directly on your skin. It can be placed in almost every part of your skin, given it is dry, clean and not too hairy. The patch should not be fixed on.
It’s advisable to frequently change the location of the patch (when replacing it) in other to reduce the risk of developing an irritation on your skin.
If the patch is placed within the first five days of your period, it would proffer you with complete and immediate protection against pregnancy.
If the patch is placed on any day other than the first five days, you will need to make use of extra contraception such as condoms, for at least 7 days.
For women who have a short monthly menstrual cycle with their periods beginning on the 23rd day or less of their cycle, placing the patch on the 5th day of their period or later than this will imply that, they would not be offered any protection against pregnancy and there may be need to make use of extra contraception for at least 7 days.
To find out when the contraceptive patch will begin to work and whether you will need to make use of extra contraceptives.
The patch hardly comes off as it is very firm and sticky. It should remain stuck to your skin even after a swim, hot tub, shower, sauna or bath.
However, if the patch comes off, the actions you would take is dependent on how long it’s been off and how many days it stayed on, before it fell off
If it has been off your skin for less than 2 days (48 hours):
If the patch has been off for up to 2 days (48 hours) or more or for an inestimable time then you should;
If at any point during the cycle after week one or two, you forget to take off and replace the old patch, the actions you would need to take will be dependent on the duration for which it’s been left on (beyond the normal time).
If it is removed within 2 days (48 hours) or less-between 8 to 9 days, you should;
If it has been left in place for over 48 hours or more than the recommended time (10 days or more) then you should:
If the patch is left on for up to the 4th week (that is, after the 3rd week), remove it immediately you remember. Afterwards, start your patch-free break and then put on a new contraceptive patch on the usual starting day whether you are bleeding or not. This implies that you may not be able to get your normal 7 patch-free days break.
You will not need to make use of extra contraception as you will remain protected from pregnancy. During your patch-free days, you may or may not experience any bleeding.
Place a new patch immediately you remember. The day you fix the new patch becomes the start of a new patch cycle. Meaning, your start and change day will be changed.
If the patch is placed with 48 hours (2 days after the 7-day interval-9 days), then you will still have protection from pregnancy as long as the contraceptive was properly used before the patch free week.
If it is placed after 48 hours of the appointed time or day-10 days or more, then you will need to make use of extra contraception as you will no longer be protected from pregnancy. The extra contraception could be condoms or any other and should be used for a period of 7 days. You may also need to seek advice from your GP or nurse, if you have had unprotected sex in the course of the patch-free interval, as you may need to make use of the emergency contraception.
Not all women experience the period-type bleeding during every patch-free week. If you don’t experience the bleed, there should be no cause for alarm as long as you have been using the patch correctly and you are not any medication that can alter the effectiveness of the patch.
However, if you are worried or think you might be pregnant, see your GP or nurse or go get a pregnancy test done to see if you are pregnant. Also, if you two bleeds in a roll during your patch-free week, you may also need to consult your GP or nurse.
The contraceptive patch is not recommended for all women, but can be used by most. If you would like to make use of the contraceptive patch, your GP or nurse will have to ask you a series of questions about your health, family history, surgeries you may have had and medications you are currently taking.
It may not be recommended for your use if:
It may not be recommended for you also if you have or have had:
While using the hormone-based contraception such as the contraceptive patch, there’s a minor risk of developing serious side effects.
Nevertheless, for the majority of women who make us e of the patch, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. You need to discuss all associated risks and benefits with you GP or nurse before deciding if you would like to use it.
Out of the numerous women who make use of the contraceptive patch, only a few of them may develop a blood clot (thrombosis) within a blood vessel- artery or vein. You will be advised against using the patch, if you have had a blood clot previously.
Your risk of developing a clot will be higher if.
When getting the contraceptive patch for the first time, you will be handed a 3-month supply, to see if you are able to use it properly and without any discomfort or serious side effects. If at the end of the 3 months use, you experience no issues, a 6 to 12 months prescription can be given to you.
You can always get access to contraception at no cost; regardless of your age (even under 16). You can get from:
You can find the sexual health clinic closest to you here.