The benefits, risks, and contraindications of the transdermal contraceptive patch are generally similar to those of combined hormonal oral contraceptives. Both methods offer highly effective, reversible, noncoital-based contraception, but are subject to adverse estrogen-related side effects. However, transdermal hormonal contraceptive systems offer several potential advantages to oral contraceptive pills:
●Therapeutic effects are achieved at lower peak doses since first-pass hepatic metabolism and enzymatic degradation in the gastrointestinal tract are avoided.
●Plasma hormone levels remain constant (peaks and troughs do not occur).
●Sustained drug delivery reduces the need for frequent self-administration, and thus may improve patient compliance.
●The nonoral route of administration is useful for patients who have difficulty swallowing pills.