Contraceptive Patch

About the patch

The contraceptive patch. Contains the same type of hormones as those used in the combined pill. It is a small, thin, pink-beige coloured patch that is stuck directly onto your skin, and is 99% effective when used properly.

How it works: The patch releases a continuous dose of hormones through the skin into the blood stream that prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg each month. 

How to use:

The pattern can be similar to that of the combined pill. Apply the first patch and wear it for 7 days. On day 8 change this patch for a new one, do the same on day 14, and at day 21 remove your patch, and leave it off for the next 7 days. This is your Patch-Free Week. You will probably have a period type bleed during this 7 day break. After 7 days patch free, apply a new patch and start the 4 week cycle again, even if you are still bleeding.

Note: if used correctly that day of the week you change your patch should stay the same.

Some women will use the patch continuously, and will not have a patch free week, which means your periods may be affected. You can discuss with the clinician when you have your consultation.

If you have are late replacing your patch and have had unprotected sex you may need emergency contraception, please contact sexual health wirral for some advice


Where to stick the patch: You can stick the patch to most areas of your body, but NOT sore or irritated skin, your breasts or areas where it may get rubbed off by tight clothing. 

Who can use it:

The patch is not suitable for everyone. Your nurse or doctor will ask you questions to check if it is a suitable option. There are some key exclusions depending on your and your families medical history, your BMI, and whether you smoke.


Including not interrupting sex, more regular, lighter and less painful periods.  You don’t have to remember a pill everyday, and because it is absorbed through the skin, vomiting or diarrhoea will not affect how well it works. The patch may also reduce acne mood swings and the symptoms that occur before your period (PMS).


Including not protecting you form STI’s, It may be visible on the skin depending on where it is placed, it can sometimes cause skin irritation/itching or soreness, risk of temporary side effects such as increased blood pressure and some serious health conditions.

Where to get it:

Most types of contraception are free in the UK and available through the NHS including most GP surgeries, sexual health clinics, some pharmacies, and young people’s services.

If you think the patch is the right contraception choice, you can:

If you need to bring your child/children with you to your appointment we recommend you bring another adult with you to care for them.

Our walk-in and wait clinics offer limited slots and operate on a first come first served basis. When clinics are at full capacity, patients asking to be seen will be triaged and those who fit our urgent criteria will be a priority. At busy times we may need to signpost non-urgent cases to other clinics or recommend patients make an appointment for an alternative day or suggest a return visit.

 More information

Visit NHS Choices - contraceptive patch