What: A Band-Aid-like patch that prevents ovulation by transmitting hormones into the bloodstream via the skin.
Effectiveness: 99.9%* if used correctly and consistently
Need to know: The patch isn’t too popular, mostly because of unfounded distrust of its topical nature. However, it is as effective (if used correctly) as the contraceptive pill.
You apply a new patch every week for three weeks, then go one week without (similar to the cycle of active and inactive contraceptive pills). Doctors recommend changing the position of each weekly patch, alternating between your upper arms, torso (excluding breasts), buttocks and abdomen.
Cost: Ortho Evra is R93 for a month’s supply.
• Easy to apply and remove weekly
• Can use patches to skip your period
• Same hormones as the pill
• May be associated with oestrogen-related effects (such as breast tenderness and headaches)
• Potential skin irritation at site of patch