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The birth control patch releases a combination of hormones to prevent unintended pregnancies. It works by preventing ovulation, and altering the uterine lining and cervical mucus. For many women, the patch is an ideal birth control methodbecause it doesn’t involve remembering to take a pill at the same time every day. For maximum effectiveness, it’s important to follow the prescribing instructions as given by your gynecologist or pharmacist.

Infographic about contraception methods

Applying the Patch

The birth control patch must be applied to clean, dry skin that is free of lotions, powders, and other products. Press the patch to your skin firmly for 10 seconds and ensure the edges adhere well to your skin. You can place the patch on your stomach, buttocks, upper back, or the outside of your upper arm. Avoid placing it over irritated or broken skin, or where it will be underneath tight clothing such as a waistband. Your gynecologist will instruct you to either apply the patch on the first Sunday after the start of your period or on the first day of your period.

Discarding the Patch

Each patch is worn for seven days . After removing an old patch, fold it in half and discard it in a manner that makes it inaccessible to children and pets. It should not be flushed. You should remove the old patch and apply the new one on the same day each week for three consecutive weeks. After three weeks, remove the old patch and do not apply a new patch for seven full days. This is the week that you will have your period.

Following Special Instructions

Your gynecologist may ask that you check the patch every day to ensure it is still adhering well to your skin. If it becomes loose, discard it and apply a new patch. If you are referred for any medical tests, surgical procedures, or bed rest, inform the provider that you’re using the birth control patch. You may be advised to discontinue its use temporarily. It’s recommended that women avoid consuming grapefruit, grapefruit juice, and other grapefruit products while using the patch because these may interfere with its effectiveness. Women should not smoke while using hormonal birth control due to the risk of blood clots.

You can discuss the various birth control methods available in Washington, D.C. by scheduling an appointment with a gynecologist. Call Washington Surgi-Clinic at (202) 659-9403. Our clinic is dedicated to maintaining the strictest standards of patient confidentiality.