The Patch: is a thin, square shaped bandage that sticks to your skin. This type of birth control contains synthetic versions of estrogen and/or progesterone, which are hormones (aka chemicals) that are naturally occurring in the body. The hormones in the patch regulate the hormonal variations in a body to reduce the risk of pregnancy. The patch can provide relief from menstrual or premenstrual (aka. period) issues such as acne or irregular or painful periods.
Each pack of birth control patches contains three patches. This is enough to last a month. The patch can be put on four areas of the body: buttocks (bum), lower abdomen, upper arm, or upper torso (excluding breasts).
To use the patch: wear one new patch each on week 1, 2, and 3. On Week 4: do not wear a patch, this is the week your period should start. You are still protected from pregnancy as long as you wore your patch correctly, and started your new one on time. At the end of week 4 put on a new patch and begin a new cycle. If the patch starts to peel off, it will not work properly. Remove the patch and replace it with a new one. Use a backup method of contraception for the next week.
The patch is 92% effective at preventing pregnancy with typical use and is often around $30 a month in Ottawa. The Sexual Health Centre in Ottawa sometimes provides the birth control patch at a discounted rate for those who need it.