Birth control : the hormone patch or plaster

If you don't want to avoid becoming pregnant, you can take a contraceptive in addition to using a condom.

Violett's doctors and health professionals can give you more information about the different birth control methods and you decide which of these suits you best.

You can contact us if you want:

  • Information about contraceptives.
  • A prescription for contraceptives.
  • An IUD (intra-uterine device) inserted.
  • A contraceptive injection.
  • Get the emergency (morning-after) pill.

The hormone patch or plaster

What is it?
  • The hormone patch (also called patch) is a thin, beige patch of 4 by 4 cm.
  • The patch contains two female hormones. It releases a constant low dose directly into the bloodstream through the skin to prevent ovulation.
  • The patch is applied to the skin.
How does it work?
  • Apply the first patch to your skin on the first day of your period.
  • Apply it to your lower abdomen, buttock, back, shoulder blades, upper body (not the breasts!) or on the outside of your upper arm. Your skin needs to be dry and free of irritation or injuries.
  • You can swim, go to the sauna, exercise, etc. with the patch.
  • Put on a patch every week for 3 weeks. You need to apply the patch on the same day of the week as the previous patch. You can stick the new patch on a different area of your body (according to the instructions on the packaging).
  • The 4th week is a patch-free week and you will get a period. The next week the cycle is repeated.
How soon am I protected?
  • If you apply the patch on the first day of your period, you are protected from pregnancy straight away.
  • If you start at a different time, you should use a condom for the first 7 days when having sex.
  • If you use the patch correctly, you are also protected from pregnancy during the patch-free week.
Delaying your period
  • You can skip the stop week and apply a new patch immediately. You will not get a period. You can delay menstruation for 2 to 3 months without any problem. If you postpone your period for a while, you may get some interim blood loss.
  • You're still protected from pregnancy.
  • Make sure you go through an entire 3-week patch cycle before deciding to put in a stop week.
Possible side effects

Positive side effects: 
More regular, less painful and lighter periods.

Negative side effects: 
Nausea, headache, breast tenderness, bleeding, mood swings. These side effects usually disappear spontaneously. If not, consult your doctor.

In practice
  • The patch is a prescription only contraceptive, available for sale at the pharmacy.
  • Tell the doctor you are using a hormone patch when he/she wants to prescribe you other medication.
  • Some medicines and herbal remedies can reduce the efficacy of the patch.

Has your hormone patch become unstuck?

Read what to do here

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