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Contraceptive Patch
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Buy your birth control patch online

The birth control patch. You only need to change it once a week. So it’s ideal for women who don’t want to take a pill every day.

Talk to us to get birth control options suited specifically to you. Choose which birth control you’d like and order your birth control patch online.

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This page was medically reviewed by Ms Laurenmarie Cormier, Nurse Practitioner on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.
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    Birth Control Patch: Here's what we've got.


    Norelgestromin, ethinyl estradiol

    A combined hormonal birth control you stick to your skin and change once a week.

    • Starting from $161.00

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    Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a doctor.

    What is the birth control patch?

    The contraceptive patch is a pretty convenient type of birth control. It doesn’t need to be fussed with every day, which gives it an edge over the pill, and it doesn’t need to be inserted anywhere, which makes it simpler than the contraceptive ring. For many women, it’s the perfect option.

    It’s discreet too. The patch can be worn under clothing, so nobody will know that you’ve got special hormones in your bloodstream protecting you from becoming unexpectedly pregnant.

    The patch is worn for a week at a time. This means you’ll change your patch on the same day every week. Don’t worry: it’s sticky enough to stay on your skin for that long, even when you shower. After three weeks of wearing patches, you’ll have a patch-free week before applying a new one and repeating the cycle.

    What birth control patches are there?

    The one birth control patch available in the US is Xulane. It’s only available as combined birth control. At the minute, there’s no patch version of the progestin-only pill.

    How birth control patches work

    Much like the combined pill, birth control patches contain two hormones. One is a progestin, and the other an estrogen. These hormones occur naturally in your body too, and they impact what your body goes through each month to prepare itself for possible pregnancy. Here are the basics.

    Ovulation is when the ovary releases an egg. If that egg is fertilized, it travels to the uterus and attaches itself to the wall to grow. The lining of the uterus gets thicker just before this, making it easier for a fertilized egg to settle in.

    The hormones in the birth control patch stop each bit of this process from happening. They can prevent ovulation, make the lining of the uterus thinner and make the mucus in your cervix thicker, so it’s harder for sperm to swim through. So no egg, no welcoming walls to attach to and no fertilization.

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    Medically reviewed by
    Ms Laurenmarie Cormier
    Nurse Practitioner
    on August 02, 2022.
    Meet Laurenmarie  
    This page was medically reviewed by Ms Laurenmarie Cormier, Nurse Practitioner on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

    How we source info.

    When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

    How well does the birth control patch work?

    When used correctly (as directed on the package insert), the patch is over 99% effective. This means that within a year, out of 100 women using the patch, fewer than one of them will become pregnant.

    Correct use requires taking off the patch when you need to and replacing it at the right time, including after your patch-free week is over and you’re starting a new cycle. But correct use isn’t always possible. Life happens.

    When life happens, it’s called “typical” use. This includes forgetting to change the patch, putting it on late or the patch coming off by mistake. When used “typically,” the patch is still around 91% effective. So that means 9 in 100 women using it will get pregnant over a whole year.

    When to start using birth control patches

    When you should start using the patch depends on whether you’re already using hormonal birth control.

    If you haven’t been using other birth control methods, you can start using the patch on the first day of your period — or any day of your period up until the fifth day. You’ll be protected against pregnancy straight away.

    If you start on any other day, you won’t be protected immediately and should use a back-up birth control method like condoms for a week. That gives the hormones in the patch enough time to become active.

    When switching from the combined pill to the patch, put the patch on one day before your pill-pack finishes. If you’re changing from the contraceptive ring to the patch, you should put on a patch two days before removing the ring.

    Where to put the birth control patch on the body

    You can wear the patch on your thighs, buttocks, upper outer arm or upper body. Just make sure to place it on clean, unbroken skin. Don’t place the patch on dry, irritated or cracked skin.

    Wherever you place the patch, make sure that it won’t be rubbed by tight clothes. This could make the patch less sticky, causing it to fall off. Be careful when applying lotions, creams or powders to the area where the patch is too.

    When it’s time for you to take your patch off and put on a fresh one, you should place your new one on the opposite side of your body. Change your placement each week. If you’ve just worn your patch on the left side, wear the next one on your right.

    Are there any other birth control patches besides Xulane?

    No. Xulane is currently the only one. It’s the only type of contraception available that you can use on a weekly basis. There’s no mini pill (single hormone) version of the patch at present.

    Weekly applied contraception isn’t working. What else is there?

    If you’re looking for birth control that you can take every day, pills are an option for you. Or if you’d prefer to not have to think about using contraception on a daily basis, there’s the vaginal ring (which you change once a month). There’s also the injection (which you receive every three months) and the IUD (intrauterine device) which protects you from pregnancy for 5 or 10 years, depending on the type of IUD.

    Is it easy to switch from the patch to another method?

    Yes. If you’re not happy with the patch, you just need to log into your Treated account and send us a message. We can talk you through alternative birth control methods and advise you on which ones are safe and suitable for you.

    Birth control patch: FAQ

    Have something specific you want to know? Search our info below, or ask our experts a question if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

    What should I do if the patch comes off?

    The patch is designed to stay on for a full week, even when you have a shower or go swimming. But sometimes, if the patch has rubbed against your clothes or if you don’t attach it to the skin correctly, it can peel away.

    If the patch has been off for less than 48 hours, you should stick it back on (assuming it’s still sticky enough). Press down on it for around 10 seconds to get it to reattach. After that, keep using your patch as normal and change it as you normally would.

    If the patch that came off isn’t sticky enough to be put back on your skin, put a fresh patch on, but stick to your original patch-changing schedule.

    You don’t need to worry about using another form of birth control if your patch has been off for less than 48 hours.

    If it’s been 48 hours or more (or if you’re not entirely sure how long the patch has been off your skin), you should use back-up birth control, as your protection will have been compromised. Use condoms or a diaphragm for 7 days and put a new patch on your skin. This day will now become your changeover day and you’ll begin a new cycle.

    If you’ve had unprotected sex since the patch has been off (or if you’re not sure your patch was still on when you had unprotected sex), you should take a pregnancy test.

    Can any woman use the birth control patch?

    No, the birth control patch isn’t suitable for all women to use. Because it’s a combined birth control method, it contains estrogen, which some women may not be able to take.

    It’s not safe to use the patch if:

    • you smoke

    • you are over 35 years of age

    • you have a history of blood clots

    • you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the patch

    • you have or had a cancer that is hormone sensitive (like breast cancer or uterine cancer)

    • you have liver disease

    • you’re breastfeeding

    • you’re diabetic

    It’s important to let our clinician know if you have any health problems during your consultation. In some cases, our prescribers may recommend a lower dose of hormones or the progestin-only pill instead.

    Can the birth control patch interact with other medications?

    Yes, hormonal birth control in general can be affected by other medications. So it’s important to let us know if you’re currently taking medication so we can make sure the patch is right for you.

    The contraceptive patch can interact with:

    • Hepatitis C medication

    • epilepsy treatment

    • drugs used to treat HIV

    • St John’s wort

    • Ospemifene (taken to treat dyspareunia)

    • Tamoxifen, sometimes known as Nolvadex (used to prevent and treat breast cancer)

    • Tizanidine (treats muscle stiffness due to a spinal injury or multiple sclerosis)

    What side effects can you get with the birth control patch?

    The most common side effects related to hormonal contraception should be mild and easy to manage, and they normally go away after a month or two.

    But if you get side effects that are making your life a bit more difficult, reach out to our clinician for some advice. They may recommend that you switch to a different contraceptive.

    The most common side effects of using the birth control patch are tender breasts, nausea, headaches and irregular bleeding (breakthrough bleeding or spotting). If you experience any of these side effects, don’t worry. They’re totally normal.

    Although they’re rare, there are more serious side effects which can have a significant impact on your health too. If you experience any serious side effects when you’re using the birth control patch, take it off and go to the hospital immediately.

    More serious side effects include: migraine; new or worsening depression; severe pains in your stomach; changes to your periods; jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin); lumps in your breasts; signs of a heart attack (chest pain, shortness of breath and feeling weak); signs of a stroke (your face drooping on one side, slurred speech and numbness on one side of your body); and signs of a blood clot (throbbing in your leg, breathlessness and coughing up blood).

    Can I get the birth control patch without a prescription?

    Like all hormonal birth control, the patch isn’t available over the counter, so you’ll need a prescription. This is so that you have a chance to talk to an expert, who will make sure the patch is the right birth control for you specifically.

    At Treated, we’ll take your health into account to make sure that the patch is safe and suitable for you to use.

    Why should I buy the birth control patch with Treated?

    We’re making contraception convenient. Tell us about your health, and get birth control recommendations from our clinicians. Choose your treatment and get it delivered from a licensed pharmacy. By subscription.

    With deliveries, you can set your own schedule, and the quantity of birth control patches you’d like to receive each time.

    We’re fans of aftercare too. You can sign into your Treated account and ask our prescribers questions about your birth control whenever you like. We’ll get in touch with you regularly to find out how you’re getting on with your treatment. And if you’d like to switch to a different contraceptive, we can advise you on all the alternatives.

    Change, pause or cancel your plan anytime.

    Can I skip a period on the Xulane patch?

    The week you aren’t wearing your patch is when you’ll have your period. It is possible to keep wearing patches back-to-back instead of taking a week off, or to rearrange how you use your patches so you get your period on a specific week. Both of these options are considered off-label use, meaning you’re using the birth control in a way that isn’t in the official instructions.

    If you’re interested in wearing patches back-to-back (also called “stacking” birth control) or otherwise changing how you time your patches, it’s important to speak to a licenced doctor first. There are various safety risks associated with not having a break between patches, and breakthrough bleeding often happens even with this method.

    Because stacking the patch means you’re skipping a patch-free week, you’ll also need to make sure you have enough patches. Chances are you’ll want to have refills ready to go faster than you would otherwise.

    Is Xulane like Ortho Evra?

    Yes, Xulane and the Ortho Evra patch are different versions, or generics, of the same birth control. That means they contain the same active ingredients and work in the same way (though Xulane has a slightly higher estrogen content). Generic versions of medications are all thoroughly tested, so you know they are safe to use.

    Ortho Evra is currently discontinued, so Xulane is a good choice if you were previously prescribed Ortho Evra and liked it.

    Xulane vs the pill. Which is better?

    The pill is one of the most popular options for birth control. It was revolutionary when it was released in 1960. That doesn’t mean it’s the best option for all women.

    Like the pill, Xulane is a combined birth control option. It combines both of the hormones used in contraception, estrogen and progestin. But rather than swallowing a pill every day, you wear the patch for a week at a time and those hormones are steadily released into your bloodstream.

    Although the pill is used by millions of women every day, it’s not a perfect birth control method. For it to be perfect, it would need to be used perfectly. And with something you need to remember to take daily, at the same exact time, perfect isn’t always achievable. Forgetting the pill or taking it late can make it less effective. And if it’s less effective, your chances of becoming pregnant increase. Because the patch is a weekly and not daily thing, it might be easier to work into your routine.

    Ultimately, no birth control method is universally better — it’s all about what works for you, both with your unique body and your lifestyle. You can speak to the licensed doctor during your Treated consultation about any birth control concerns.

    What do I do if the Xulane patch won’t stay on?

    The Xulane patch should stick to your skin and should stay there for the whole week. Place it on carefully and firmly press it down to make sure it isn’t loose. The skin the patch is placed on should be clean and unbroken. Avoid putting creams, powders and lotions on the patch.

    Wearing tight clothes that rub against the patch could make it more likely to fall off. If you’re concerned, try to place it somewhere that clothes aren’t going to rub against it.

    What do I do if the patch falls off?

    If your patch does come away, don’t panic. What you need to do next will depend on how long the patch has been off.

    Should your patch fall off, and you realize within the same day, you can reapply the patch that came off. Press the patch down for at least 10 seconds to make sure it sticks to you as it should. If it doesn’t stick to you properly, then apply a fresh patch to your skin.

    If your patch has been off for more than a day, or you’re not sure how long it’s been off for, then the effectiveness of the patch has likely been compromised. So you should apply a patch and start a new four-week cycle from that point. This will now be the day you change your patch. Because you could now become pregnant, you should use another birth control method for the next 7 days. Make sure the back-up method you use isn’t hormonal — instead, use condoms or a diaphragm.

    Why should I buy Xulane with Treated?

    Before you use Xulane, a doctor will need to make sure it’s the right option for you. So to get Xulane patches online, you’ll need a prescription. Take our consultation and let the doctor know if you have any medical issues, so they can make sure they recommend a birth control option that’s safe for you. You’ll then set up your subscription by selecting how often you want to receive it from our preferred pharmacy.

    GoGoMeds, our preferred pharmacy, ships medicines by secure courier. Subscribing to a plan with Treated means you’ll get additional patches as and when you need them, without having to worry about running out. So your contraception will be delivered regularly, according to the schedule you’ve set.
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