Aside from other forms of birth control available both freely (as is the case of the pull-out method or abstinence), over the counter methods (condoms, female condoms), or even other perscription methods (monocyclic and tricyclic medications, IUDs, shots, etc.) is a new method that has only recently come out on the market and has been, as of yet, unseen on this site. This method is the patch. It is a small square looking patch, roughly the size of a large nicotine replacement patch, that is the same color as beige bandages. It may be placed anywhere from shoulders to pelvic girdle aside from the breasts, though the pictures on the instruction booklet recommend upper arm, shoulder blade, hip or buttock.

The patch, distributed under only one brand name: OrthoEvra, claims to be as effective as mono- or tri-cyclic medications; a success rate of 99%. It is easier to use than the oral contraceptives in the fact that there is only one day per week where something needs to be remembered, and there is no strict time limit, just so long as the change occurs within the targeted 24 hours.

Unlike oral contraceptives, the patch is held on by adhesive, which can fall off. However, writing from my own experience as a three-year oral contraceptive user who recently switched methods due to inability to make the 20 minute window for oral contraceptive dosage, I have yet to find an activity to weaken the adhesive. Neither swimming, showering, sex, working out, stretching the skin under the patch, nor even gently tugging at the corner of the patch loosens its hold on my skin. On the other hand, there is a moderate amount of pain, such as there would be with a wax hair-removal method, when removing the patch at the end of the week.

The pros of this method outweigh the cons. I find it very useful in its simplicity. My partner knows better than to try to pull it off. Furthermore, it has yet to fall off, and I've tried to make it do so. The clinical trials, which I as a scientist have hunted down, seem to be conducted scientifically and the data is valid to support the claim of effectiveness. And the price is quite reasonable, I pay a mere $3 more for a month's supply of patches (3 patches for 4 weeks, the patchless week is that of menstruation) than I did for my oral contraceptive.