Contraception Information & Advice
Contraception patches are for women only. When used correctly they are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. The contraceptive patch is a small patch, rather like a nicotine patch. It is approximately 5cm x 5cm and it administers pregnancy preventing hormones into your body through your skin. The name of the brand used here in the UK is Evra. Book an appointment for to get your contraception patch from Broadgate GP.
Contraceptive Patches At A Glance
• More than 99% effective when used properly
• One patch lasts for one week
• Use one patch per week for three weeks then nothing for week four
• Can be worn in the bath, when playing sports and in the swimming pool
• May help to ease heavy and/or painful periods
• May protect against colon, ovarian and womb cancers
• Does not protect against STIs
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How Does The Contraception Patch Work?
The hormones administered by the contraception patch are the same hormones provided by the combined contraception pill; namely oestrogen and progestogen.
The hormones delivered by the patch work in the same way as the hormones delivered via the pill, meaning that they prevent an egg being released; they make cervical mucus thicker which makes it extremely difficult for sperm to travel through the cervix, and they thin the lining of the womb which makes it more improbable for a fertilised egg to implant itself.
Applying The Contraception Patches
Contraceptive patches can be used on most areas of the body providing that the skin is clean, dry, and not too hairy. A new patch is applied once per week for three weeks. Week four is a patch free period. During the fourth week you may experience what is known as a “withdrawal bleed,” something that is akin to a period. Not all women experienced this.At the end of the fourth week you apply a new patch and a new four-week cycle starts again. Apply the patch regardless of whether or not you are bleeding at the time. You should not apply a patch to:
• Any areas of sore or irritated skin
• Anywhere where it might get rubbed off by tight fitting clothing
• Your breasts
To minimise the likelihood of any skin irritation, you can vary where you position the patch each time.
What Should I Do If The Patch Falls Off?
If your patch falls off and has been off for the less than 48 hours, stick it back on immediately you notice, providing it is sticky enough. Do not attempt to re-apply it if it is not sticky by using a sticking plaster or bandaging it in position. Continue to use your patch as normal and replace it on the date that the original was due to be replaced.
If the patch came off after it had been in place for only six days or less, you may not be protected against becoming pregnant, and should therefore use some other form of contraception for the next seven days. If you do not know how long the patch has been off, you should replace it immediately and begin a new cycle. In addition you should use some other form of contraception for the next seven days. In the meantime if you have had unprotected sex, you may need emergency contraception.
Women Who Should Not Use The Contraception Patch
As with many forms of medication, contraception patches are not universally suitable for everyone. If you are considering using the patch you should chat to your GP, or if you live and/or work in London you can pop in to the private, walk-in well woman clinic or family planning clinic that we run here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall for a chat with one of our qualified clinicians. No prior appointment is necessary.
You may not be considered a satisfactory candidate for the contraception patch if:
• You think you might be pregnant
• You are breastfeeding
• You are over 35 years of age and you smoke
• You are over 35 years of age and you stopped smoking less than 12 months ago
• You are overweight
• You take certain medicines including some antibiotics and some epilepsy and tuberculosis treatments
You may also be advised against using the contraception patch if:
• You have had thrombosis
• If you have a heart condition
• If you suffer from migraine with aura
• If you have breast cancer
• If you have liver or gallbladder disease
• If you have diabetes with complications, or you’ve been a diabetic for more than 20 years
Drop In At Broadgate GP London Wall For Contraception
If you live and/or work in London and you would like more advice on using the contraception patch, or you wish to purchase a supply, you can drop in to our sexual health clinic or family planning clinic here at Broadgate Clinic London Wall for a consultation. No prior appointment is necessary, however you can book an appointment.