A Mom's Guide to Birth Control

The Patch (Ortho Evra)

Best if: You don't want to get pregnant tomorrow; You're thinking "maybe baby"; You've found your perfect family size

How it works: Once a week for three weeks, stick the beige patch on your upper back or arm, lower abs, or butt, where it releases a continuous flow of estrogen and progestin into your bloodstream. You go patch-free for week four so you can get your period.

Perks: You can slap it on once a week and forget about it.

Drawbacks: The patch may cause minor skin irritation, but only about 3 percent of women quit because of it. The risk of blood clots may be higher than that of some birth control pills. Studies found an increased rate of unintended pregnancies in women who weigh 198 pounds or more.

Fertility returns 1 to 2 months post-removal.

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