Birth Control Patch

1 What is a Birth Control Patch?

The birth control patch for women is a type of contraception that contains the hormones estrogen and progestin.

Yours are told to place the small patch on your skin once a week for three weeks, the goal is to wear the patch for a total period of 21 days.

During the fourth week, you don't wear the patch in order to allow menstruation to occur. A birth control patch works similar to combination birth control pills.

The birth control patch prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones into your blood that keep your ovaries from releasing an egg. Ortho Evra, once marketed as birth control patch is not available in places like the U.S.

The manufacturer discontinued Orth Evra after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xulane, a generic birth control patch, in 2014.

You will need a prescription from your health care provider to use the birth control patch. The patch does not give protection against Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

2 Reasons for Procedure

The reason for birth control patch is to avoid pregnancy. It has some advantages over other types of birth control which include: It cancels out the need to interrupt sex for contraception.

You do not need your partner's cooperation to use it. It does not need daily attention or having to remember to take a pill every day. It provides a daily dose of hormones.

It is easier to use for women who have trouble swallowing pills. It can be removed at any time, allowing a quick return to fertility The birth control patch is not for everyone.

Your health care provider may advise against the patch for the following reasons:

  • Are 35 years or older and smoke.
  • Have chest pain or history of heart attack, stroke or severe high blood pressure.
  • Have a history of blood clots.
  • Have a history of breast uterine or liver cancer.
  • Weigh more than 198 pound or 90 kilograms.
  • Have liver disease or migraines with aura.
  • Have diabetes-related complication of the kidneys, eyes, nerves or blood vessels.
  • Have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Developed yellowing of the whites of the eyes and the skin (jaundice) during pregnancy or when taking previously taking hormonal contraceptives.
  • Are about to have major surgery and will be unable to move around as usual.
  • Are taking any medications or herbal supplements.
  • Are sensitive to any part of the birth control patch.

In addition, it is important to tell your health care provider if you:

  • Are breast-feeding or recently gave birth, had a miscarriage or had an abortion.
  • Have concerns about a new breast lump or change in your breast self-exam.
  • Take epilepsy medications.
  • Have diabetes, or gallbladder, liver, heart or kidney disease.
  • Have high cholesterol or triglycerides.
  • Have irregular periods.
  • Have depression.
  • Have skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema.

3 Potential Risks

Potential risks of the birth control patch may include the following:

  • An increased risk of blood clotting problems.
  • Heart attack.
  • Stroke.
  • Liver cancer.
  • Gallbladder disease and high blood pressure.
  • Breakthrough bleeding or spotting.
  • Skin irritation.
  • Breast tenderness or pain.
  • Menstrual pain.
  • Headaches.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Mood swings.
  • Weight gain.
  • Dizziness.
  • Acne.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Vaginal infection and discharge.
  • Fatigue.
  • Fluid retention.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

To prepare for the birth control patch you will need to make a request for a prescription from your health care provider.

He or she will further review your medical history and check your blood pressure.

It is important to talk to medical care provider about any medications you are taking, including nonprescription and herbal products.

5 What to Expect

Read on to learn more about what to expect before, during, and after your birth control patch.

To use the birth control patch:

Talk to your health care provider about a start date. If you're using the birth control patch for the first time, wait until the day your period starts.

If you use the first-day start, you'll apply your first patch on the first day of your next period. No backup method of contraception is needed.

If you use the Sunday start, you'll apply your first patch on the first Sunday after your period starts. Use a backup method of contraception for the first week.

Choose where to apply the patch. You can place the patch on your buttocks, upper outer arm, lower abdomen or upper body. Don't put it on your breasts or in a place where it will be rubbed, such as under a bra strap.

Apply to skin that's clean and dry. Avoid areas of the skin that are red, irritated or cut. Don't apply lotions, creams, powders or makeup to the skin area where the patch will be.

If skin irritation develops, remove the patch and apply a new patch to a different area. Apply the patch. Carefully open the foil pouch. Use your fingernail to lift one corner of the contraceptive patch.

Peel the patch and the plastic liner away from the pouch, then peel away half of the protective clear lining. Be careful not to cut, alter or damage the patch.

Apply the sticky surface of the patch to your skin and remove the rest of the liner. Press down firmly on top of the skin patch with the palm of your hand for about 10 seconds.

Smooth it out, making sure that the edges stick well. Leave the patch on for seven days. Don't remove it to bathe, shower, swim or exercise. Change your patch once a week for three weeks.

Apply a new contraceptive patch to your body each week — on the same day of the week — for three consecutive weeks. Apply each new patch to a different area of skin to avoid irritation.

After you remove a patch, fold it in half with the sticky sides together, place it in a sturdy container and throw it in the trash. Don't flush it down the toilet.

Remove any adhesive that remains on your skin with baby oil or lotion. Check the patch regularly to make sure it's still in place.

If the patch becomes partially or completely detached and can't be reapplied, replace it with a new patch immediately.

Don't reapply a patch if it's any longer sticky, it becomes stuck to itself or another surface or it has other material stuck to it. Don't use other adhesives or wraps to hold the patch in place.

If your patch becomes partially or completely detached for more than 24 hours, apply a new patch and use a backup method of contraception for one week. Skip the patch on the fourth week.

Don't apply a new patch during the fourth week, when you'll have your period. After the fourth weekends, use a new patch and apply it on the same day of the week that you applied the patch in the prior weeks.

If you're late applying a new patch, use backup contraception. If you're late applying the birth control patch in your first week or more than two days late in your second or third week, apply a new patch immediately and use a backup method of contraception for one week.

Consult your health care provider as soon as possible if you have:

  • Sharp chest pain, sudden shortness of breath or coughing up blood, which can be signs of a blood clot.
  • Persistent pain in your calf or other signs of a blood clot in your leg.
  • Sudden partial or complete blindness or other signs of a blood clot in your eye.
  • Crushing chest pain or other signs of a heart attack.
  • Sudden severe headache, problems with vision or speech, numbness in an arm or leg, or other signs of stroke.
  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, possibly accompanied by fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine or light-colored bowel movements.
  • Severe trouble sleeping, fatigue or feeling sad.
  • Severe abdominal pain or tenderness.
  • A breast lump that persists through 1-2 menstrual cycles or increases in size.
  • Two missed periods or other signs of pregnancy.

6 Procedure Results

As a result of a birth control patch the probability of pregnancy is significantly reduced as long as the patch is applied on the skin.