What is the patch?

It is a sticky patch measuring 5cm x 5cm (rather like a nicotine patch) which delivers oestrogen and progestogen into your body through your skin. Each patch lasts for one week. You wear them for three weeks and then have a week off.

In the UK the patch’s brand name is Evra.

The patch should be stuck to clean, dry skin, not on the breasts and where it is unlikely to be rubbed off.


How it works

It contains the same hormones as the combined pill; and it works in the same way.

This means that the patch prevents ovulation (the release of an egg) thickens cervical mucus which makes it harder for sperm to travel through the cervix and thins the womb lining which makes it unlikely that an egg will implant itself there.

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Sexual Health West Sussex