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Home > Health Library > Birth Control: How to Use the Patch
Talk to your doctor about what day to start using the patch. Doctors usually recommend that the first patch be placed on the first day of your next menstrual period. If the patch is started on any other day, use a backup method of birth control for 7 days. Start the patch on a day that is easy to remember.
The skin (transdermal) patch is a highly effective method of birth control when it is used exactly as directed. The patch failure rate is the same as that of birth control pills.
It can be applied to your lower belly, your buttocks, or your upper body, but not on the breasts.
The patch delivers the hormones daily over 7 days. No patch is worn during the fourth week. So you'll have your period that week.
When you remove a patch, dispose of it carefully. Because of environmental concerns about hormones in the water supply, don't flush it down the toilet.
A small number of women have reported that the patch has partially or completely come off. If this happens before your patch is due to be changed, put on a replacement patch right away.
Current as of:
November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: November 22, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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