Contraceptive patches & Vaginal Ring

Here are two new types of contraception that may interest you.

Contraceptive patches

What is it? The contraceptive patch is a sticky patch, a bit like a nicotine patch, that is replaced every week for three weeks followed by a week's break. The patch releases the hormones oestrogen and progestogen through your skin.

How effective is it? When used correctly the patch is more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

Advantage: You don't need to think about it every day, and it's still effective if you vomit or have diarrhoea. You can wear the patch in the bath, in the swimming pool and while playing sports.

Disadvantage: The patch can increase blood pressure and some women get temporary side effects such as headaches.


What is it? A small, flexible vaginal ring that stays in the vagina for 3 weeks followed by a one week break before you put a new one in.

How effective is it? When used correctly, the vaginal ring is more than 99 % effective.

Advantage: You don't have to think about taking it every day.

Disadvantage: There may be some short term side effects including vaginal discharge, breast tenderness and headaches.