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What to Do If You Forget to Apply a Patch or It Comes Off

The Birth Control Patch Dosing and Missed Patches

If you forget to apply the first patch at the beginning of your cycle (after the week of not wearing any patches), apply the patch as soon as possible and use a backup method of contraception (such as condoms) for seven days.
 
If you forget to change the patch for the second or third week of your cycle and remember within one or two days, simply change the patch as soon as you remember (and continue with your usual schedule, changing the next patch on your usual day). If you remember within one or two days, no backup birth control is necessary. If you forgot to change your patch after more than two days, start a brand-new, four-week cycle by applying a new patch as soon as you remember (this will be your new "day 1" of your new cycle). Be sure to use backup contraception for seven days.
 
If you forget to take off the last patch of a cycle, simply remove the patch as soon as you remember. Start your next cycle as usual (even though there will not be a full week between patches). No backup contraception is needed as long as you start your next cycle on time.
 

What If the Birth Control Patch Comes Off?

Usually, birth control patches stay on well, although they may occasionally come loose or come off altogether. In any case, if the patch is no longer sticky, if it is stuck to itself or something else, or has anything stuck to it, do not try to reapply the patch (a new patch is necessary). If the patch has been off for less than 24 hours, reapply the patch or apply a new patch as soon as you can and continue with your regular cycle as usual (your regular day for changing the patch will not change). In these cases, no backup birth control is necessary. If it has been more than 24 hours (or if you are not sure how long it has been), start a brand-new, four-week cycle immediately (no matter where you are in the cycle). A backup method of contraception is necessary for the next seven days.
 
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Birth Control Patch Information

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