Home>>Family Medicine>>Adult Health: Birth Control: Patch/Ring

The Patch

The birth control patch uses a combination of estrogen and progesterone to prevent pregnancy.

How well does it work?

  • The patch is 92-99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

How to use?

  • Apply a new patch once a week for three weeks
  • No patch in week 4

What are the advantages?

  • Can make periods more regular and less painful
  • No pill to take daily
  • Ability to become pregnant returns quickly after stopping patch

What are the disadvantages?

  • Can irritate skin under the patch
  • May cause spotting the first 1-2 months
  • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs

The Ring

The birth control ring uses a combination of estrogen and progesterone to prevent pregnancy.

How well does it work?

  • The ring is 92-99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

How to use?

  • Insert a small ring into the vagina
  • Change ring each month

What are the advantages?

  • Does not require a “fitting” by a health care provider
  • Private
  • Does not require spermicide
  • Can make periods more regular and less painful
  • No pill to take daily
  • Ability to become pregnant returns quickly after stopping the ring

What are the disadvantages?

  • Can increase vaginal discharge
  • May cause spotting the first 1-2 months of use
  • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs