Like a Band-Aid, the patch can be placed on your skin in several locations, such as your arm or abdomen. There it prevents pregnancy with a hormone that keeps your ovaries from releasing eggs. It must be replaced each week.

91%
effective

Considerations

Less effort than the pill

If you're the kind of person who would have trouble remembering to take a pill every day, the patch might be a good option. You only need to remember to do something once a week.

Your weight

We don’t know for sure, but the patch may be less effective if you weigh more than 198 pounds. So take that into consideration.

You want predictable periods

If you feel comforted by getting your period every month—and not having random spotting in between—this could be a good choice for you.

Smokers over 35, beware

If you’re over 35, smoking on the patch increases your risk of certain side effects.

The pregnancy question

You'll be able to get pregnant right after going off the patch. So don't take any chances. If you're not ready for a baby, protect yourself with another method.