The contraceptive patch is a form of hormonal contraception. It works in a similar way to a combined contraception pill, but is administered via a patch that is attached to the skin. The hormones used are synthetic versions of oestrogen and progestogen, which work in three ways to prevent pregnancy.
It is almost 100% effective as a form of contraceptive thanks to the way the two hormones interact to stop ovulation, as well as thickening the cervical mucus to avoid any sperm from entering. In the rare case that an egg were fertilised, it would be unable to grow in the womb as the chemicals in the patch also make the lining thinner to prevent an egg from attaching.
It should be applied to a flat area of the skin, such as the upper arm. In the same way to the pill, it should be applied on the first day of your period for immediate protection. After it has been on for 21 days you should remove it and have a seven day break from the hormones before applying a new patch. During the seven day break you will remain protected against pregnancy but you may experience withdrawal bleeding which is similar to a period.
The main benefit to using a form of hormonal contraception is its success rate, which is more than 99%. It also provides additional benefits over the combined pill. It is convenient for women who are worried they might forget to take a pill or who suffer from vomiting or diarrhoea, as the hormones in the patch are released directly into your bloodstream.
Using this contraception will also help to regulate periods and avoid heavy or painful menstruation. It is also believed to reduce your risk of developing certain cancers.
Most women over the age of 18 will be prescribed the contraceptive patch if they request it. However, it may not be suitable for women who are overweight, smokers, pregnant, breastfeeding or over the age of 35.
In addition, there are certain medical conditions which can make using this less safe and effective. For example, you will not be prescribed this if you suffer from heart or circulatory problems, diabetes or have a history of cancer or liver problems. It is important to discuss any condition or current treatment in your medical consultation to make sure that this is the right form of contraception for you.
Every prescription medication presents some risk of side effects, although with this contraceptive the risk of serious or long-lasting side effects is lower. Some of the more common side effects which women experience include headaches, migraines, mood swings, skin irritation or breast tenderness. Any more severe side effects, such as severe stomach pain, jaundice, breathlessness or chest pain should be reported to a medical professional.
Yes, it is available to buy online from 121doc. This is a safe, convenient way to buy your contraceptives as you can fill in a free online medical consultation, which will be reviewed to ensure this is the best option for you. Once your order has been approved, you will be issued a prescription, which we will send to the pharmacy.
At 121doc we offer a free next day delivery service, which means that your order could arrive within 24 hours. If you live in the London area you may receive your order in as little as two hours.