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The Patch

The patch is a form of birth control containing two hormones that prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg (ovulation) and thus prevents pregnancy. The patch is put on either the stomach, upper arm, or buttocks and needs to be changed each week for three weeks. During the fourth week no patch is worn. The first patch should be applied about 5 days after your period starts.

Certain medications can make the patch less effective. These include some herbal medications, medications to treat fungal infections, seizures, mental illness or headaches.

The Patch Contains Estrogen and Is NOT Recommended for Those:

  • Who weigh more than 198 pounds
  • Over 35 years old who smoke cigarettes
  • With an inherited blood clotting disorder
  • With high blood pressure and who smoke cigarettes
  • With a history of blood clots in their arms, legs, lungs, or brain
  • With current or past breast cancer
  • Who have migraine headaches with an aura
  • With severe liver disease
  • With uncontrolled hypertension

Benefits May Include

  • Reduced risk of pregnancy and tubal (ectopic) pregnancy
  • Less risk of ovarian or uterine cancer with continued use (even after stopping)
  • Less menstrual bleeding and/or pain
  • Less mood swings with periods

Possible Side Effects

  • Eye problems such as blurry vision or double vision
  • Pain in abdomen, chest or arm
  • Severe headaches
  • Shortness of breath or coughing up blood
  • Unusual swelling or pain in legs
  • Worsened depression
  • Jaundice (yellowing on skin or in eyes)
  • New breast lump
  • Unusually heavy periods
  • No period after having periods each month
  • Skin irritation at the site of the patch

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