STD Home > Manufacturer Info and Instructions for the Birth Control Patch

When and How to Use It

Some general considerations for when and how to use the birth control patch include the following:
 
  • The birth control patch comes in a pack with three patches that are exactly the same. Each new patch is applied once a week for the first three weeks of a cycle; no patches are worn during the last week (to allow for a menstrual period).
     
  • You can wear the birth control patch on the upper, outer arm; the upper torso (the front or back, but not on the breasts); the abdomen; or the buttocks. Choose an area of skin that is clean, dry, and free of irritation or cuts. Do not apply lotions, creams, powders, or makeup on the skin before or after the patch is applied.
     
  • You can wear the birth control patch while swimming, showering, bathing, or exercising.
     
  • Do not cut, draw on, or decorate your patch in any way.
     
  • After removing the patch, some adhesive may remain on the skin. A little baby oil or lotion can help remove the adhesive.
     
  • Don't flush a used patch, as it still contains some hormones that can get into the water supply. Dispose of it by folding it in half (on itself) and disposing of it out of the reach of children or pets.
     
  • In many cases, if a patch falls off, it can be reapplied (although a new patch may be necessary, especially if the old one is no longer sticky). In some circumstances, you may need to use a backup method of contraception for seven days.
     
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed.
     

Who Makes It?

The birth control patch is made by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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