The Patch

The patch sticks to the skin, like a bandaid. It releases estrogen and progestin hormones through the skin into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. The hormones prevent pregnancy by stopping ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). If no egg is released, the sperm has nothing to fertilize, so pregnancy can’t happen.

How effective is it against pregnancy?

  • Typical use: Prevents pregnancy 93% of the time
  • Perfect use: Prevents pregnancy 99% of the time
  • Using the patch correctly and consistently increases its effectiveness. If you use the patch perfectly, it is about 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

How to Use:

  • Apply a new patch once a week for 3 weeks – you can put it on your butt, stomach, upper outer arm, or upper torso
  • No patch in week 4


  • Can make periods more regular and less painful
  • You can become pregnant right after stopping the patch


  • Can irritate skin under the patch
  • May cause spotting in the first 1-2 months
  • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs – use a condom with this method

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