The Xulane patch is a combined hormonal birth control you stick to your skin. It prevents unexpected pregnancy and is worn for three weeks out of the month.
Talk to us to learn more about the birth control patch. After an online consultation where a licensed doctor checks over your medical history, you’ll be recommended several options (including Xulane, if it’s right for you). A Treated subscription covers refills, so you decide when you want another shipment.
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Xulane is a transdermal (fancy way of saying “on your skin”) patch used for birth control. It’s a combined method with two hormones, just like the pill, but you don’t have to worry about taking it every day. Instead, the patch is worn for a week at a time before it needs to be changed.
How does the Xulane Patch work?
Xulane is a low-maintenance form of birth control because it doesn’t have to be remembered every day. You place it on your skin and wear it for a week at a time. The recommended areas for the patch are your stomach, cheeks (the ones you sit on), upper arm or the back of your shoulder.
After 3 weeks of wearing patches, you’ll have a patch-free week. This is when you’ll have your period.
Like the pill and the ring, the Xulane patch is a hormonal birth control. The hormones progestin and estrogen are released into the body in a steady flow while you’re wearing it.
This protects you from pregnancy in three different ways. The hormones stop an egg being released (ovulation), so it can’t be fertilized. They make vaginal mucus thicker, so it’s harder for sperm to get through. And they also keep the uterine lining from growing, so it can’t harbor an egg as easily. This last bit has the added effect of stopping or lessening your flow during your period.
Is the Xulane patch better than the pill?
Some women prefer it because they don’t need to remember it every day like they do with the pill. Another advantage is that when you use the pill, vomiting and diarrhea can lead to a dip in your protection. Since the patch isn’t taken orally, being sick doesn’t impact your protection levels.
When the patch is used “perfectly,” the rate of effectiveness is the same as when you use the pill perfectly. So it comes down to how you prefer to administer your birth control.
Place your patch on clean, unbroken skin on your thighs, abdomen, buttock, upper outer arm or upper body. Wherever you chose to place the patch, you should make sure that it won’t be rubbed by tight clothing. These are the only parts of the body where you can place the Xulane patch. You should not place the patch on your breasts, for example, because it’s not safe. It also shouldn’t be placed on dry, broken or irritated skin. Be mindful about using any creams, lotions, powders or oils around the area where you’ve placed your patch. The patch might not stick properly or might come off as a result. When it’s time to change the patch, you should switch sides. So if you’ve been wearing your patch on the left side of your body, for the next week it should be worn on the right.
When can I start Xulane?
You should begin using Xulane on the first day of your period, or on the first Sunday after the beginning of your period. When you start using Xulane, you should use a back-up method of birth control when you do have sex. It will take at least 7 days for your body to adjust to the hormones and for the patch to become effective. Your patch should be changed on the same day you applied it. It’s important that you get into a routine of this, because if you’re late changing the patch, its effectiveness might become altered. You might want to set an alarm or some sort of reminder when you need to change the patch. When you apply the next patch, you should opt for the opposite side to where you have just worn it. This will help to make sure that your skin doesn’t become irritated, as you might find some sensitivity where the patch was worn.
How effective is the Xulane patch?
When taken correctly (by this we mean exactly as explained in the package insert), Xulane is up to 99% effective. This means out of 100 women who use the patch properly, fewer than one will become pregnant over the course of a year. Perfect use of the patch tends to happen during clinical trials. But for one reason or another, it’s less likely in day-to-day life. Maybe the patch peels off or you delay in putting on a new patch after the patch-free week, compromising its effectiveness. Making the occasional mistake is known as “typical use,” and for the patch this is thought to make it between 91% and 94% effective (meaning that out of 100 women using it typically over 12 months, between 6 and 9 will fall pregnant). If you’re worried about how effective your patch is, you could use another method of birth control to further protect you — but it shouldn’t be another hormonal method. The hormones found in the patch, the ring or the pill are carefully measured to be safe. Use a method like condoms or a diaphragm for extra cover instead.
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.
XulaneNorelgestromin, ethinyl estradiol
XulaneNorelgestromin, ethinyl estradiol
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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.
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.
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