This is a sticky patch that releases oestrogen and progestogen into the body via the skin.
Via release of these hormones, it works to prevent the release of an egg each month (ovulation), thicken the cervical mucus to make it harder for sperm to pass through into the womb, and thin the lining of the womb.
If used correctly the patch is over 99% effective.
The patch is applied weekly for three weeks, followed by a patch-free week.
You may not be suitable to take the combined pill if you are pregnant, if you are over 35 and are a smoker, very overweight, take certain medications, have had blood clots, have had stroke or arterial disease, have heart or blood pressure issues, suffer with severe migraines, have or have had breast cancer, have liver disease, have diabetes, have a family history of blood clots.
You can start the patch at any time in your cycle, however if you start after day five of your cycle, you will need to use an alternative method of contraception, such as condoms, for the next seven days.
You cannot start if you are breastfeeding, and your baby is less than six weeks old.
The patch reduces the risk of ovarian, endometrial and colon cancer, can reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, can make bleeds lighter and less painful, can reduce acne, is not effected by sickness and diarrhoea.
In some cases, users may experience the following side effects:
- breast tenderness
- mood swings
- increased blood pressure
- skin irriation
- increased risk of blood clots
- increased risk of breast cancer.