The birth control patch is an effective method of pregnancy prevention. Patch treatment also regulates the menstrual cycle, thus reducing discomfort before and during a woman’s monthly period. A birth control patch is a plastic-coated square sticker designed for discreet body application.
Here is a contraceptive care guide for mastering the birth control patch application-to-removal process.
The Patch. Why Use It?
Each birth control patch contains the two same synthetic hormones found in birth control pills: estrogen and progesterone. Hormonal release from the patch within the body prevents ovulation. The patch also thickens the surrounding cervical mucus, blocking penetration by sperm during sexual intercourse.
For immediate effectiveness, initial patch application should be performed between the first and fifth days of a woman’s period. A secondary form of birth control contraception, such as a condom, should be used for a week or more if the patch is applied during an alternate time than the prescribed period.
The Patch. Where to Place It
Physician-recommended instructions for birth control patch treatment indicate application to an area of the body where the skin is clean and dry:
- Upper arm
- Upper back
Avoid applying a birth control contraceptive patch in the following areas:
- Irritated or sore skin
- Areas rubbed by apparel
- Areas where cosmetics are applied
The Patch. How to Use It
Birth control contraceptive patch application is performed manually and is relatively simple. It is recommended to wash and dry the hands and the skin area where the patch will be placed before birth control contraceptive patch application.
Open the foil pouch by holding it flat and partially peel the patch without touching the adhesive. Apply the patch to the skin and peel off the remainder of the plastic tab backing. Finally, press the applied patch against the skin for ten seconds.
The Patch. Length of Use
The birth control patch is intended for seven days of use. Therefore, each patch application should be removed and replaced weekly for three weeks, followed by a 1 week break the fourth week.
If a patch application has not been changed according to schedule, and the duration of use is less than ten days, its effectiveness is reliable. If applied for longer, it should be replaced on the next scheduled date.
Physicians recommend use of a secondary contraceptive method in the interim. The secondary form of contraception can be eliminated after the next patch is in place for seven days.
It is advisable to check an applied patch daily. Check patch application after exercise activities which tend to cause the skin to sweat. Patch adhesive lasts up to 30 minutes in water. After a half hour of bathing or swimming, a patch may dislodge and require replacement.
When using the patch during the final 7-day cycle period, there may be some withdrawal bleeding or similar menstrual period spotting. If such an occurrence is accompanied by excessive pain, contact your physician.
The Patch. How to Remove It
If a patch detaches within the first 24-hour period post-application and still exhibits adhesive stickiness, reapply. If the adhesive has disintegrated, the patch should be replaced. If a patch application detaches after more than 24 hours post application, replace it.
The scheduled removal day for standard patch replacement is within the first three days after the end of the 7th day. To remove a patch, peel it away from the skin, fold it in half so the adhesive is stuck to itself and dispose.
Failure to remove a patch at the scheduled time after the third week should be followed by replacement on the next scheduled start day. Therefore, the scheduled patchless week will be shorter. Physicians recommend using a secondary birth control method with the patch for seven days after a lapse, followed by replacement.
Pregnancy Prevention. You Have Options
The birth control patch method is considered one of the safest pregnancy prevention treatments available from a medical doctor. Birth control patch pregnancy prevention treatment is also suitable for use with other contraceptive methods.
Find out if the birth control patch or other contraceptive care option is right for you. Pregnancy prevention is a choice. Explore your contraceptive care options. Consult with a licensed gynecologist healthcare practice.
Contraceptive Care Raleigh
Raleigh Gynecology & Wellness is a licensed medical physician practice providing routine care and procedural care services in Raleigh, North Carolina. Our practice specializes in gynecological and pregnancy prevention services, including birth control patch prescriptions.
Discuss your healthcare options with a physician by scheduling an appointment with Raleigh Gynecology & Wellness.