What Are the Side Effects of the Patch?


Quick Answer

Some of the most common side effects of the birth control patch include breast tenderness, bleeding between periods, nausea and vomiting, according to Planned Parenthood. Some women may also experience a change in sexual desire or a rash where the patch is placed.

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Full Answer

Side effects normally disappear within the first two or three months of use, but women should contact a health care provider if they persist, advises Planned Parenthood. Serious side effects are rare but include liver tumors, gallstones and high blood pressure. Estrogen medications also put women at a slightly greater risk of heart attack and stroke, and women using the patch have a greater chance of developing blood clots than those taking another form of hormonal birth control. Women are more likely to experience serious complications if they have diabetes, smoke, have high cholesterol, are over age 35 or are overweight.

Warning signs of serious side effects include yellowing of the eyes or skin, trouble breathing, a sudden and severe headache, an aching soreness in the leg, or severe pain in the chest or abdomen, as stated by Planned Parenthood. Users experiencing these symptoms should immediately contact a health care provider. If a user stops using the patch, she may experience missed or irregular periods for up to six months.

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