The Patch is a small beige plastic patch that is placed on the body once a week for three weeks, and then removed for the fourth week. It is barely noticeable.
The Patch, like oral combination pills, delivers ethinyl estradiol (a form of estrogen) and norelgestromin (a form of progesterone) into the blood stream.
The only patch currently available is Ortho Evra, made by Ortho – McNeil, a reputable contraceptive company.
The Patch contains 60% more hormones than other combination pills, and as such, can have side effects such as blood clotting. The Patch is not recommended for smokers, or people with a history of heart disease or stroke.
The advantages of the Patch are that there is less to remember than with the pill, and so it is a more effective method of birth control because there is less margin for error.
When you start is the same as combination birth control pills, and many of the advantages and disadvantages of combination pills apply to the Patch as well. The Patch has the added advantage of being much more effective than the pill. Where an average of 8 users of ever 100 will get pregnant when on the pill, fewer than 1 user out of 100 will get pregnant when on the Patch.
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