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Women's Center at Westover Hills
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(210) 858-1101

Contraceptive Patch


The patch is a small contraceptive patch that adheres to the skin to prevent pregnancy. Each patch lasts for 7 days.

After 7 days the old patch is removed and a new patch is placed in a different location of the body. After 3 patches (or 3 weeks) no patch is applied for 7 days and you will have a period. After the 7 day break a new box of patches is started. The patch has hormones similar to the birth control pill. The hormones prevent ovulation. About 9 women in 100 get pregnant while on the patch. The patch may not be effective for women who weigh more than 200 pounds.

Pros of the Patch

  • It does not interrupt sex.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It stays on in the shower, bath, while swimming and during exercise.
  • It is easy to check if it is there.
  • It is good if you forget to take pills.
  • It is good for women who want a period each month.

Cons of the Patch

  • You MUST remember to change the patch each week.
  • It may leave adhesive on the skin that is easily removed with baby oil.
  • It can be seen by others.
  • There are side effects such as spotting between periods.

How to use the Birth Control Patch

  • Start the patch on the first day or first Sunday of your period.
  • Put each patch on a different location: hips, upper arms, back or shoulders
  • Do not place the patch on your breasts or underarms.
  • Be sure the skin is clean and dry
  • Press down on the patch for 10 seconds and make sure the edges stick firmly
  • Leave the patch on for 7 days

Possible Side Effects

You may or may not experience the following side effects
  • Spotting and bleeding between periods
  • Nausea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood changes
  • Skin rash nor redness where the patch is placed.
Warning signs to report to your provider immediately
  • Sudden headaches not relieved by Tylenol
  • Eye problems (blurry vision)
  • Sharp, sudden pain in the leg, chest or abdomen
Women who are not a candidate for the Patch
  • If you have migraines with aura
  • If you are over 35 and smoke
  • If you have had blood clots, heart disease, or a stroke
  • If you have uncontrolled blood pressure or diabetes
  • If you have breast cancer or liver disease

The birth control patch does NOT protect you from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Use condoms to protect yourself from these infections.

From Our Patients
“Love Love love Dr. Akonye like a second mom to me so comfortable with her. Glad I found her!! Just amazing staff and all!!” – Ana Swain