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Contraceptive patch

Contraceptive patch

  • The contraceptive patch (also called the patch) is a thin, beige plaster of 4 by 4 cm. 
  • The patch contains 2 female hormones.  The patch has the same effect as the pill.
  • The patch is put on your body and releases a constant and low level of hormones through the skin.  These hormones make sure that no eggs ripen.
  • If you want to use the contraceptive patch, you need a prescription. Afterwards you can buy it at the chemist’s.  
  • If you have any complaints or questions, it is best to consult a doctor.


How do you use the contraceptive patch?

  • If you use the patch for the first time, you start on the first day of your period.  
  • Put the patch on your abdomen, buttocks, back, shoulder blades, upper body (not on your breasts!) or the outside of your upper arm. 
  • Put it on a dry piece of skin that is not irritated or wounded.  You can swim, go to the sauna, do sports, ... with it. 
  • Check every day whether the patch is still in place.
  • During three weeks you put a new patch on your skin every week (on the same day).  Then you have one week without patch, during this week you will have your period.  Afterwards you use a patch again every week during a period of three weeks.

When are you protected against pregnancy?

  • If you start with the patch on the first day of your period, it is immediately reliable.  
  • If you start on another day, the first 7 days are not safe and it is best to use a condom when having sex.
  • If you use the patch correctly, you are also protected against pregnancy during the patch-free week.

What do you notice of the contraceptive patch?

  • By using the patch you lose less blood and the bleeding is less painful.  
  • During the first months, your body has to get used to the hormones and there may be some side effects: nausea, headache, sore breasts, bleeding between periods or mood changes.  These side effects usually disappear spontaneously.  If not, you have to consult your doctor.


What are the risks of the contraceptive patch?

The contraceptive patch is a reasonably new method.  All the risks are not yet known.  Always discuss your medical history with your doctor.  He or she can judge whether this is a suitable form of contraception for you.  It is better not to smoke.

Sickness and medication

When a doctor wants to prescribe other medicines, you have to tell him or her that you use the contraceptive patch.  Some medicines and medicinal herbs may reduce the effect of the patch.

Postpone your period?

  • You can also skip the gap week and immediately apply a new patch.  
  • You will not have a bleeding.  You can postpone your period without problem for two to three months.  After a few weeks of postponement, you may have some bleeding between periods.  
  • You remain protected against pregnancy.
  • Make sure that you always go through the whole cycle of 3 patches before you have a gap week.


The leaflet