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What's the Deal With the Patch?

What's the Deal With the Patch?

All the women I know who don't want to get pregnant are on some type of hormonal birth control, because it's an easy, reliable and an extremely effective form of birth control (besides abstaining from sex altogether of course).

The Pill is great and all, but you have to remember to take it every day. The NuvaRing is also a hormonal birth control, but I've heard a few women complain about it falling out, or that their partner could feel it which leaves us with Ortho-Evra (more commonly known as the Patch).

Just like the Pill and the NuvaRing, the hormones found in the patch prevent you from ovulation. You simply have to put on a new patch once a week, for 3 consecutive weeks each month and then go "patch-free" the fourth week when you get your fake period.

What's Great:

  • It's just as effective as the Pill (99%) if used correctly.
  • It's discreet. You can wear it on 1 of 4 areas - upper outer arm, upper torso (front and back, excluding the breasts), abdomen, or your booty.
  • You can bathe, shower, swim, sweat, or work out with it.

To hear some drawbacks,


  • As with all hormonal birth control, there are serious risks involved, including blood clots and stroke. Also, the risk of heart attacks is increased if you smoke cigarettes while using the Patch.
  • It can leave a sticky mark on your skin, like band-aids do.
  • You have to check it everyday to make sure it's adhered to your skin.
  • Sometimes it can peel or fall off. If it's been off for less than 24 hours, just reapply a new patch and you are still protected against pregnancy. If it has been more than 24 hours, you have to apply a new patch, and use a backup method of birth control (like condoms) for the next 7 days.
  • The Patch does NOT protect against HIV or other STIs.

Dear's Advice: The FDA has warned women that since Ortho-Evra contains more hormones than regular birth control pills, they are at a greater risk of developing blood clots and other serious side effects. For most doctors, the Patch isn't the first form of birth control they'd suggest so if you are interested, talk to your doctor about the potential risks and whether it is right for you.


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