A Simple Guide to Using the Birth Control Patch
Using the birth control patch is simple. However, there are a few key points to keep in mind. Let’s briefly discuss how to apply the patch and what changes to make for different preconditions.
How to Apply the Birth Control Patch
Thoroughly clean and dry the area that the patch will be applied to (your belly, buttocks, upper outer arm or back), and carefully apply it to the skin. The patch should be worn for 7 days. On the 8th day, remove the patch and repeat the same application procedure. Each pack comes with three patches; use one per week for three weeks straight.
Before applying the patch, make sure your skin is dry. Do not use oil, lotion, or makeup as these materials can prevent the patch from adhering. Check your patch regularly to ensure it is in place, especially after bathing or swimming.
While applying the patch, do not touch the adhesive area with your fingers. Place the adhesive area of the patch on your skin and press firmly to ensure the patch is securely adhered to your skin. Remove the backing of the patch and discard.
Learn more: How effective is the birth control patch?
Birth Control Patches and Menstrual Periods
While using patches, you can decide to either get or skip your periods.
To get periods, don’t wear the patch during the fourth week, as that’s the time when you will be getting your period. After a patch-free week, wear a new patch at the right time to avoid the risk of pregnancy.
To skip periods, don’t stop using the patch during the fourth week, and continue with a new pack. When you stop your periods with patches, you may have spotting or minor bleeding for the first six months. This is entirely normal and will subside gradually.
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If you Want to Get Pregnant
If you want to get pregnant, remove the patch, and you are ready to conceive. Your period might take a few months to return to its regular cycle. It is still possible to conceive even if your periods have not yet regulated themselves.
If your Patch Falls Off
Birth control patches don’t fall off easily. However, if they do, there is no need to worry. Pregnancy can still be avoided.
If it’s been less than two days since your patch has fallen off, put the patch back on or replace it with a new one. You’re still protected from pregnancy, and you can continue with the same patch-change cycle.
If it’s been more than two days since your patch has fallen off, put a new patch on and mark it as your new patch change day. For the next week, use a condom, or birth control pills, or any other contraceptive to prevent pregnancy.
You can use the same method if you forgot to change your patch on time. If it’s been less than two days from your patch change day, put a new patch on, and your patch cycle will remain the same. If it’s been more than two days, put a new patch on, mark it as your new patch change day, and use another contraceptive for the next seven days.
Birth control patch is one of the easiest contraceptives to use, making it a go-to choice for many women. If you still have questions regarding the use or effects of a birth control patch, consult with a medical professional or your doctor.
For more information on the birth control patch, read:
- How does the birth control patch work?
- Is the birth control patch safe?