To use a birth control patch, simply wear the patch on your skin for a total of 21 days each month. During this time, you will replace the patch three times (once a week) to ensure you receive the correct doses of estrogen and progestin. At the start of the fourth week, you’ll remove the patch so you can get your period.
Overall, birth control patches work similarly to birth control pills by using hormones to prevent your body from releasing an egg. In addition, the patch thickens up cervical mucus so even if you do release an egg, the sperm will have an extremely difficult time reaching it.
Women choose the birth control patch over other contraceptive methods for a number of reasons. They might use it because:
- They don’t have to remind themselves to take a pill on a daily basis.
- They receive a steady dose of hormones, which should limit potential side effects.
- Unlike some longer lasting methods, the patch is easy to remove if they want to become pregnant.
When using the birth control patch, women have a range of options for where they can place it. Many choose to place it in an area that isn’t noticeable, such as the butt, lower abdomen, or upper body. For women who don’t mind if others see the patch, the upper outer arm is also a convenient option.
Placing the patch is easy, just peel the patch away from the plastic liner and remove half of the protective lining. Then, apply the sticky side of the patch on the skin while removing the other half of the liner. After being pressed down on for 10 seconds, the patch should be secure enough to withstand bathing, swimming, and whatever other activities you engage in while using it.