Patch vs Implant

Need help choosing? Speak to a doctor
Patch

£From £0.32/day

Implant

Want to switch contraception?

Overview

Rated 3.4

86 reviews

Weekly

Frequency

91% - 99+%

Effectiveness

Increased

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 2.8

560 reviews

Every 3 years

Frequency

Over 99%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Patch ingredients

Main hormones in Patch

progestogen

oestrogen


Implant ingredients

Main hormones in Implant

progestogen

What Lowdown reviewers say

Benefits: What this contraceptive can help with

Acne or bad skin

Heavy periods

PMS and PMDD

PCOS symptoms

Period pain

Heavy periods

Ovulation pain

Period pain

Try it now

£From £0.32/day

Try it now

Want to switch contraception?

Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Patch reviews

86 reviews

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

My overall experience was good and I don’t suffer from any major side effects. This method worked well for me

Read more

Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
22 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

  •  Still using

I’ve been using the evra patch for around 7 months now and love it! My mood has drastically improved and feel so much happier day to day. At first I noticed light nausea in the evenings, but this wore off over time. In the first 3 months I noticed a light rash around my chin and cheeks that would wear off on my patch free week then come back but that had since disappeared. I don’t think I’ve put on weight since starting however I have noticed an increase in cup size. My periods have been lighter, shorter and so regular. It’s so practical and very discreet, could not recommend enough!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
16 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  28th Jan 24

  •  Stopped using

Honestly, it wasn’t bad while I was on it, I had pretty bad pain during periods but day-to-day felt pretty normal. Only after I came off of it did I realise I had gained over 10kgs and could literally feel my mental health improve within weeks.


Top side effects not reported

2 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

My overall experience was good and I don’t suffer from any major side effects. This method worked well for me


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
22 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

  •  Still using

I’ve been using the evra patch for around 7 months now and love it! My mood has drastically improved and feel so much happier day to day. At first I noticed light nausea in the evenings, but this wore off over time. In the first 3 months I noticed a light rash around my chin and cheeks that would wear off on my patch free week then come back but that had since disappeared. I don’t think I’ve put on weight since starting however I have noticed an increase in cup size. My periods have been lighter, shorter and so regular. It’s so practical and very discreet, could not recommend enough!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
16 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  28th Jan 24

  •  Stopped using

Honestly, it wasn’t bad while I was on it, I had pretty bad pain during periods but day-to-day felt pretty normal. Only after I came off of it did I realise I had gained over 10kgs and could literally feel my mental health improve within weeks.


Top side effects not reported

2 helpful

0 comments


Implant reviews

560 reviews

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
23 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

I had the implant for over 2 and a half years. When I first went on this, I didn’t have a period for a couple months but then after that I had around a month long period, this was then paired with the combined pill to help it regulate a bit more. I then ended up usually going 3 months without a period and then 1 week of a period with 2-3 weeks of very light bleeding. This was okay. I then recently had my period and since then continued to bleed for over 3 months. I decided that I couldn’t deal with this anymore as it meant rarely even being able to have sex within my relationship. I was going to get it removed early and replaced but decided against it as I reflected on the past year and the side effects that I did actually have. A key one that only really began to affect me around 2 years into it was vaginal dryness and vaginitis which I didn’t even realise was a side effect until recently. Pain during sex sometimes but a decreased libido too. I had also been up and down with my emotions, sometimes I felt extremely emotional and other times like I had no emotions at all. It did seem to work well for the first couple years and maybe getting it removed and replaced early might have helped but I just felt like I wasn’t really happy on the implant anymore, my mood was a lot lower, especially with side effects in mind. Lots of my friends use it and find it really good, I just think it’s luck of the draw how it effects you!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
44 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

At 44 years old with high blood pressure, I was told that the combo pill was not an option so I decided to give the Nexplanon insert a try as a 33 year old friend of mine has had it for the last 5 years with minimal problems. It was inserted in the beginning of July. By the end of August I had lost almost 40% of the hair on the crown of my head. I also bled at a moderate level every single day of August and for another two weeks after it was removed in the beginning of October. Talk about an effective way to prevent pregnancy— neither myself nor my boyfriend are into bloody sex! Although the cramps calmed down before I had it removed, the depression and mood swings were also very hard to deal with. After it came out, I couldn't stop crying and being upset over the smallest things for several weeks. Although I could have tried to hang in there for a few more months, the hair loss was too much. And it continued to fall out until November. It's now February and it STILL hasn't started to grow back yet. Also, they're not kidding about being fertile immediately after removal... I got pregnant in December. Spending the new year dealing with an abortion was definitely not one of my resolutions for 2024 :( Long story short: If you're young, it's probably worth the hassle. Over 40, I strongly recommend against it!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

Once becoming sexually active, I was given the choice of different contraceptives methods and the implant was the most effective one at the time of my consultation. I had the implant in for around 2 months and from day 3 of having the insertion done, I was bleeding continuously and have breakthrough periods for 2 months. Whilst having daily periods I was using nearly 6/7 pads a day and had large clots , which was very alarming to me. I had to seek further advice and was told they do not normally remove the implant so soon after insertion. I felt like I was being told just to deal with it and get on. I was fully aware of the symptoms but didn’t expect it to last that long. I was able to get a second opinion and was advised to have it removed immediately due to the severity of bleeding , which resulted in low iron levels and symptoms of severe fatigue and restlessness. I eventually had the implant removed after 3 months and my periods returned back to normal after a month of so. I was really disappointed that this method didn’t work for me but I was grateful to have other options


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
23 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

I had the implant for over 2 and a half years. When I first went on this, I didn’t have a period for a couple months but then after that I had around a month long period, this was then paired with the combined pill to help it regulate a bit more. I then ended up usually going 3 months without a period and then 1 week of a period with 2-3 weeks of very light bleeding. This was okay. I then recently had my period and since then continued to bleed for over 3 months. I decided that I couldn’t deal with this anymore as it meant rarely even being able to have sex within my relationship. I was going to get it removed early and replaced but decided against it as I reflected on the past year and the side effects that I did actually have. A key one that only really began to affect me around 2 years into it was vaginal dryness and vaginitis which I didn’t even realise was a side effect until recently. Pain during sex sometimes but a decreased libido too. I had also been up and down with my emotions, sometimes I felt extremely emotional and other times like I had no emotions at all. It did seem to work well for the first couple years and maybe getting it removed and replaced early might have helped but I just felt like I wasn’t really happy on the implant anymore, my mood was a lot lower, especially with side effects in mind. Lots of my friends use it and find it really good, I just think it’s luck of the draw how it effects you!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
44 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

At 44 years old with high blood pressure, I was told that the combo pill was not an option so I decided to give the Nexplanon insert a try as a 33 year old friend of mine has had it for the last 5 years with minimal problems. It was inserted in the beginning of July. By the end of August I had lost almost 40% of the hair on the crown of my head. I also bled at a moderate level every single day of August and for another two weeks after it was removed in the beginning of October. Talk about an effective way to prevent pregnancy— neither myself nor my boyfriend are into bloody sex! Although the cramps calmed down before I had it removed, the depression and mood swings were also very hard to deal with. After it came out, I couldn't stop crying and being upset over the smallest things for several weeks. Although I could have tried to hang in there for a few more months, the hair loss was too much. And it continued to fall out until November. It's now February and it STILL hasn't started to grow back yet. Also, they're not kidding about being fertile immediately after removal... I got pregnant in December. Spending the new year dealing with an abortion was definitely not one of my resolutions for 2024 :( Long story short: If you're young, it's probably worth the hassle. Over 40, I strongly recommend against it!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

Once becoming sexually active, I was given the choice of different contraceptives methods and the implant was the most effective one at the time of my consultation. I had the implant in for around 2 months and from day 3 of having the insertion done, I was bleeding continuously and have breakthrough periods for 2 months. Whilst having daily periods I was using nearly 6/7 pads a day and had large clots , which was very alarming to me. I had to seek further advice and was told they do not normally remove the implant so soon after insertion. I felt like I was being told just to deal with it and get on. I was fully aware of the symptoms but didn’t expect it to last that long. I was able to get a second opinion and was advised to have it removed immediately due to the severity of bleeding , which resulted in low iron levels and symptoms of severe fatigue and restlessness. I eventually had the implant removed after 3 months and my periods returned back to normal after a month of so. I was really disappointed that this method didn’t work for me but I was grateful to have other options


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

  •  Still using

Happy with this form on contraception


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

  •  Stopped using

When on this contraceptive I would have a period maybe every 2 - 3 months and it would tend to be quite light and last about 3 days only. Then there were few vacations where my period would last about 9 days and the first 3/4 days would be heavy bleeding. I also put on quite a bit of weight over time while being on this contraceptive.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
26 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

  •  Stopped using

My experience with the implant started off really well, my period disappeared! But then it came back with a vengeance alongside headaches, period cramps and loss of sex drive. I started feeling like myself when I came off it!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
33 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

  •  Still using

Great to have a reliable form of contraception I don’t have to worry about but have my period roughly every two weeks as well as regular spotting and break through bleeding.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 5 - 8 yr
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  15th Jan 24

  •  Stopped using

I had the implant for 6 years (2 separate implants) while overall not a bad experience it did have side effects. Being very emotionally numb, weight gain, increased appetite, loss of sex drive, dryness, irregular spotting and bleeding - absolutely no rhyme or reason behind it.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
31 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  26th Dec 23

  •  Stopped using

I got the implant as I thought it would be good as a long-term contraceptive and especially as I can’t have pills as they all have lactose in (allergic to dairy). Insertion was fine- had some bruising and tenderness in my arm for over a week. I started bleeding quite heavily for a week or so and hoped it was just uterus lining shedding and that it would settle. My pattern ended up being 7-8 day period with heavy ish bleeding then spotting immediately after for a week, couple of days break and then same again. I got fed up of the constant bleeding for 3 months and was told by the nurse that at 3 months your bleeding pattern is likely to remain the same. I had been on the Mirena coil previously so thought I’d be ok with progesterone-only (only ever had spotting!). In terms of side effects, I had headaches in the first couple of weeks and the whole time I was on it I was bloated and very gassy, my breasts got larger and my sex drive was definitely lower. I also felt quite tired. All in all it made my mood lower as the only thing that improved was the headaches. Overall my experience wasn’t great but I spoke to a few friends before I got it and they only had spotting whilst on it so just depends on luck of the draw for your bleeding pattern and/or side effects! Also of course everything is individual as to how much the side effects bother you.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  19th Dec 23

  •  Stopped using

Well it at least stopped me getting pregnant, and it was great not having to think about it. However, it reduced my sex drive about 30% and caused vaginal dryness, particularly during sex (which is largely solvable with lube but annoying). I bled almost constantly for the first 8 months (enough to need pads every day during this time). The main problem was the breast growth, which was not linked to weight gain. I went from DD to GG-H in the first 2-3 months, despite maintaining a fairly stable BMI/waist size. That's a 6-inch gain in my overbust band size. I understand this would be a positive for some women, but it was unexpected, unwanted and upsetting for me, and caused back pain and posture problems. As this size increase was linked to both breast tissue gain and constant, hormone-induced water retention in my breasts, it was mostly permanent, and while on the implant, they felt hard when squeezed/touched and were tender and sore. After I switched to non-hormonal birth control 18 months ago, they quickly became softer and smaller but only dropped down to F/FF before stabilising. They also noticeably lost perkiness/fullness after removal, but this may just be due to ageing.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Contraceptive alternatives and comparisons

Compare the Patch with other contraceptives

Order online

Order online now

Use our online prescription in under 5 mins

  • No GP appointment needed

  • Free standard delivery

  • Set up a subscription and never run out

Speak to a doctor

Not sure yet? Speak to a doctor

Schedule an appointment now

87% of women are happier with their contraceptive choice after speaking with one of The Lowdown's doctors

The Lowdown

Women's health, reviewed.

Get the best women’s health info in your inbox

You are signing up to receive The Lowdown's latest findings and news in women's health. Your data will be used in accordance with our Privacy & Cookie policy

Built by doctors and experts

Our tools are made by medical professionals for your peace of mind

Pharmacy services provided by Phlo Technologies Ltd. GPhC reg number: 9011171

When you click on some links on this site, we may get a small affiliate commission