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  • Birth control: Patch

    The birth control patch prevents pregnancy by transferring hormones to your body through your skin. This method uses a 28-cycle. You apply a new patch each week for 3 weeks (21 total days). No patch is applied the 4th week and your period should start during this patch-free week.


  • Start options

    There are three options for starting your first cycle of the patch:

    • First day start. Apply 1st patch on the 1st day of your period.
    • Sunday start. Apply the 1st patch on the first Sunday after your period starts (for example, if your period starts on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, put patch on that Sunday. If your period starts on Sunday, apply the first patch that day.
    • Quick Start. Place your patch in the provider's office during your appointment or when you pick it up from the pharmacy. Never place your patch if there is a possibility that you could be pregnant.

    Wear the patch for 7 days. On day 8 apply a new patch for Week 2 and on Day 15 apply a new patch for Week 3. Do not wear a patch during week 4 and your period should start during this week. Every new patch should be applied on the same day of the week. Patches can be put on your buttock, abdomen, upper outer arm, or upper torso in a place where it won't be rubbed by tight clothing. Never place a patch on your breast(s). Do not leave patch off more than 7 days.

  • When back-up contraception may be needed

    Abstain from intercourse or use an additional method of birth control such as a male condom if you have intercourse during the first 7 days of this cycle.

    • Back-up contraception such as a male condom may be needed if you are on certain medications such as antibiotics or anti-seizure medications. Consult with your health care provider.
    • An additional method of birth control is required for 7 consecutive days any time the patch is off more than 24 hours other than patch free week.
  • Reference

    Note: refer to the package insert for problems or questions about use of the patch, such as a patch falling off or forgetting to apply a patch at the proper time.

    • Tell your health care provider that you are using a hormonal method of birth control prior to any scheduled surgery.
    • Tell your health care provider that you are using a hormonal method of birth control if another medication is prescribed for any reason, as some prescription medications, especially antibiotics and anti-seizure medications, these may decrease their effectiveness and require use of back-up contraception.
    • If, for any reason, you are going to discontinue your method of birth control, please contact us first. It may be that you are having a problem that would be quite simple to work out. Rest periods off these methods are not necessary.

Page last updated: 7/2/2013 1:42:48 PM