This is a thin, beige patch about the size of a matchbox, which can be applied to any part of the body except the breasts.

There is only one patch available at this time it is called the Evra Patch.

  • With perfect use, the patch is over 99% effective.
  • They are used for three of the four weeks of the cycle and changed weekly.
  • You can wear it in the bath, when swimming, and while playing sports.
  • Pregnancy can happen if an error is made in using the patch — especially if it becomes loose or falls off for more than 24 hours or the same patch is left on the skin for more than one week.
  • Patches do not provide protection against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

How to Use the Patch

Apply your first patch and wear it for 7 days. On day 8, change the patch to a new one. Change it like this every week for 3 weeks, and then have a patch-free week.

During your patch-free week you’ll get a withdrawal bleed, like a period, although this may not always happen.

After 7 patch-free days, apply a new patch and start the 4-week cycle again. Start your new cycle even if you’re still bleeding.

Where to Get the Contraceptive Patch

This method of contraception requires a prescription from your family doctor or family planning centre. It is available on the GMS (Medical Card Scheme).