At the beginning of the episode, as the 21-year-old part-time model settled in for her date with 25-year-old coffee bean salesman Connor Durman, several eagle-eyed viewers spotted that she was wearing a patch on her upper right thigh.
While some expressed their confusion over what the patch could be, hypothesising that it could be a nicotine patch, others stated that it is a contraceptive patch.
Several Twitter users who expressed their belief that the patch is a form of contraception praised Rebecca for publicly wearing it on national television.
“So happy to see Rebecca on Love Island wearing a contraceptive patch, so many people don’t know they are a thing and it makes me feel a lot less self conscious about mine now,” one person tweeted.
— gemma (@Gemmamccaughan)January 22, 2020
I am HERE for Rebecca wearing her contraceptive patch in full view! Werrrrrk your bodily autonomy queen! 💪🏼💅🏼 #LoveIsland— Demi Clavey (@demiclavey)January 21, 2020
Did Rebecca have the contraceptive patch on? Good on her making responsible decisions. Take notes guys #loveisland— 𝓓𝓾𝓶𝓶𝔂 𝓣𝓱𝓲𝓬𝓬 ™️ (@AdahMommy)January 22, 2020
“Did Rebecca have the contraceptive patch on? Good on her making responsible decisions. Take notes guys,” another remarked.
So how does a contraceptive patch work and how long can it be used for?
The contraceptive patch, the NHS explains, is a small, adhesive patch that is worn on the skin as a means of birth control.
“The patch releases a daily dose of hormones through the skin into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy,” the NHS states.
“It contains the same hormones as the combined pill – oestrogen and progestogen – and works in the same way by preventing the release of an egg each month (ovulation).”
The NHS adds that the patch also thickens the cervical mucus, which makes it harder for the sperm to make its way through the cervix, in addition to thinning the womb lining, which reduces the chances of a fertilised egg implanting itself.
In the UK, the brand name for the contraceptive patch is Evra.
On the Lloyds Pharmacy website, it recommends wearing the patch for seven consecutive days after applying it to an area of clean, dry, hairless skin.
It is advised to change the patch after seven days, wearing a patch continually for a total of 30 days.
“After three weeks of continuous patch use, take a seven-day break from the patch,” Lloyds Pharmacy states.
Possible side effects from the contraceptive patch use include headaches, nausea and breast tenderness, the pharmacy outlines.
The NHS further details that the form of birth control may not be suitable for women who are breastfeeding a baby who is less than six weeks old, for smokers who are aged 35 or older and for individuals who think they may be pregnant.
The contraceptive patch can be sourced for free from contraception clinics, sexual health clinics, some GP surgeries and some youth services.
For more information about the contraceptive patch, visit the NHS website here.