The hormonal patch is another relatively effective but less common method of contraception. Here, the hormones are not taken up in tablet form, but are absorbed by the body through the skin.
How does a hormonal patch work?
The patch contains two hormones – estrogen and progestin, which are evenly released in the body and bloodstream through the skin and promote various processes that prevent unwanted pregnancy:
- Inhibits ovulation.
- Thickens the cervical mucus.
- Delays sperm movement.
The effectiveness of the hormonal patch is 99%
The positive feature of the patch is that it works even in the presence of nausea, diarrhea or other digestive problems that may impair the effectiveness of the tablets.
How to properly apply the hormonal patch?
- The patch should be applied to clean, dry, hair-free, healthy skin.
- It should be located on the buttocks, abdomen, or on the outer surface of the upper arm, where tight clothing will not rub against it.
- The patch should not be applied to the chest or to red, inflamed, or damaged skin.
- Each subsequent patch can be applied to the same area of the body, but in a slightly different place to prevent skin irritation.
How should the hormonal patch be used?
- We should change the patch every week for 3 weeks, with a break in the fourth week.
- Under no circumstances should the patch be used for over 7 days between patches. If this period exceeds 7 days, the woman is not protected against becoming pregnant, so a non-hormonal contraceptive must be used at the same time.
- Without a patch, the menstrual period should begin during the week.
Important to remember – if the patch comes off:
- If the patch has come off even partially before 24 hours, it should be applied in the same place or replaced with a new one. There is no need to use an additional method of contraception.
- If the patch has come off at least partially for over 24 hours, or if we do not know it for how long the patch has come off, the woman is not protected against pregnancy and a new contraceptive cycle must be started by applying a new patch. This determines the first day of a new cycle and a new replacement day. Another non-hormonal method of contraception should be used concomitantly for the first 7 days of the new cycle.
In no case should a hormonal patch be used
The contraceptive patch should not be used if you have any of the following conditions. If any of these occur while using the patch, it should be stopped immediately.
- Hypersensitivity to any component.
- Venous thromboembolism or its risk.
- Arterial thrombosis or its risk.
- Severe hypertension, diabetes mellitus, congenital dyslipoproteinemia.
- Breast cancer, or suspected.
- Migraine with a focal aura.
- Endometrial or other estrogen-dependent cancer.
- Abnormal liver function.
- Genital bleeding of unknown origin.
- Pregnancy and lactation.
The Bottom Line
We remind you that only a gynecologist will determine which method of contraception will be most suitable for you and your health.