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Birth Control Patch

What is the birth control patch?
The birth control patch is a thin, beige, plastic patch that sticks to the skin. It is used to help prevent pregnancy. A new patch is placed on the skin once a week for three weeks in a row, followed by a patch-free week. The birth control patch releases hormones called estrogen and progestin and therefore cannot be used if you are breastfeeding. The birth control patch is very effective and works best when it is placed on the skin at the right time. The patch is not effective if you weigh more than 198 pounds or if you are taking antibiotics. Do not use the patch if you smoke and are over the age of 35 or if you have a history of breast cancer or DVTs (deep vein thrombosis).

When do I start the patch?
You should put your birth control patch on Sunday after the beginning of your cycle. Example: If your cycle begins on a Wednesday, you will put the patch on the following Sunday, even if you are still bleeding. If you start your period on a Sunday, place the birth control patch on that day.

How do I use the birth control patch?
You will put the patch on the skin of your buttocks, stomach, upper outer arm, or upper torso once a week for three weeks in a row. You will not put on a patch for the fourth week. You will always put the patch on and take the patch off on the same day. Do not put birth control patch on breast.

What do I do if my patch comes off?
If your birth control patch becomes loose or falls off early and is off for less than one day, reapply the patch. If the patch will not stick, apply a new patch. You will change the patch on your regular patch change day.
If your birth control patch is off for more than one day or if you are unsure how long it has been loose or off, apply a new patch. This day of the week will become your new patch change day. You will need to use a backup form of birth control for 7 days after you apply the new patch. You may call your doctor's office for an extra patch if needed.