What Works/What Doesn’t

Preventing Pregnancy

The Patch


A woman applies a small adhesive patch to herbutt, upper arm, or lower abdomen. The patch contains a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin. The patch is changed once a week for 3 weeks, followed by one week with no patch.

Success Rate

With typical use, 8 women in 100 (8%) become pregnant in one year. With perfect use, less than one woman in 100 (less than 1%) will become pregnant in one year.

The Perks

If used correctly, the patch provides non-stop protection from pregnancy; it can make a woman’s periods more regular, reduce cramps, and shorten or lighten a woman’s period. It only has to be changed once a week.

Drag Factor

Offers no protection against STDs including HIV. Some women have skin reactions, nausea, headaches and breast discomfort. If the patch is removed for more than a day, or a woman is late starting a new patch, she should either not have sex or use a back-up method of contraception (like a condom) until she has used a new patch for 7 days.

How To Get It

Through a prescription from a health care provider; the cost runs $15 to $50 a month, plus the cost of the visit to a health care provider. Whether you need parental consent for a prescription depends on your state, find more here. http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_MACS.pdf

Provided By: Bedsider

Condoms, when used consistently and correctly, are the ONLY method that protects sexually active people from both STDs and pregnancy.