The contraceptive patch is a method of contraception.
The contraceptive patch is a thin beige or transparent sticking-plaster. It contains the same 2 hormones as the contraceptive pill. These hormones prevent ovulation. They also make it more difficult for sperm cells to reach the mucous membrane of the cervix. The sperm cells will then have difficulties reaching the uterus, where the egg cell is located. The hormones also interfere with the implantation of an egg cell.
How to use a contraceptive patch
Apply the patch as follows:
- Tear the pouch open at the incision.
- Open the packaging.
- Peel the patch and the plastic liner away from the pouch.
- Peel away half of the protective lining.
- Apply the patch on your abdomen, buttock, back, shoulder-blade or on the outside of your upper arm, on dry, clean skin. Make sure that you are not using any cream, oil, lotion, powder or make-up around the plaster.
- Apply the sticky surface of the patch to your skin and remove the rest of the liner. Press the patch down firmly on top of the patch.
- Wear the patch for 7 days (1 week). Remove the patch.
- Apply a new one on the same day of the week (for example: Wednesday) in the 2nd and 3rd week;
- In the 4th week you do not use a patch. This week, you will start to bleed (menstrual period). You are also protected in this week.
- After 7 days (1 week) you apply a new patch on the same day of the week (for example: Wednesday), even if you are still bleeding.
- Repeat the previous steps.
The contraceptive patch is very reliable if used correctly. The patch is not reliable, or is less reliable, if:
- You are taking certain medicines such as St John’s Wort. Tell your doctor you are using the contraceptive patch. He will take this into account when prescribing medicines.
- You forget to apply the patch after the 7-day break, or if you forget to change it; Or if you forget to replace the patch;
- You lose the patch and do not apply a new one within 24 hours (1 day).
- You weigh more than 90 kilos.
Around 9 in 100 women get pregnant when they use the contraceptive patch for 1 year.
Does not affect your health
The contraceptive patch contains hormones. These hormones do not generally affect your health. However, in some cases it is better to choose a different method of contraception. Ask a doctor for advice.
The contraceptive patch does not make you less fertile. If you want to get pregnant, you just remove the patch.
During the first months of using the contraceptive patch, you may have side-effects such as tender breasts, headache, nausea or irritated skin. These effects usually disappear on their own. If they do not disappear, consult a doctor.
Your menstrual periods often become less heavy and less painful.
No protection against STIs and HIV
The contraceptive patch does not protect against STIs or HIV. Only a condom can protect you.
Buying the contraceptive patch
You need a prescription from a doctor to buy the contraceptive patch. Without a prescription you cannot buy the contraceptive patch. You can buy the contraceptive patch in a pharmacy only. Ask a healthcare professional for more information.
Some health insurance funds repay part of the costs for contraception. Ask your health insurance fund about this.
You also have to pay a personal contribution for the visit to the doctor. Some people have a right to increased reimbursement or urgent medical care. Below are the addresses where you can see a doctor for free.