Birth control patch
The patch is a thin, beige piece of plastic that looks like a Band-Aid. All of the patch options are little less than two inches across, two are square and one is round, and all of them come in one—and only one—color. (Beige.) You stick the patch on your skin and it gives off hormones that prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs. The hormones also thicken your cervical mucus, which helps to block sperm from getting to the egg in the first place. The brand name Ortho Evra isn’t being produced anymore, so if you use the patch, ask for the generics, Xulane and Zafemy, or ask for the lower dose option, Twirla.
How to Use It
The patch is simple to use. The only tricky part is remembering the schedule for putting the patch on and taking it off—and we can help you with that.You can put the patch on your butt, stomach, upper outer arm, or upper torso—never on your boobs, though. Just stick a single, new patch on once a week for three weeks in a row, then go patchless (no patch) for the fourth week. For example, let's say it's Tuesday and you put on a new patch. Tuesday becomes your “patch change day.” In other words, patches will always go on (or off) on Tuesdays. You'll probably get your period during the patchless week, and you may still be bleeding when it's time to put the patch back on. That's totally normal. Put it on anyway. Check out these tips and tricks to make the whole thing easier. ####Tip 1 If you start the patch within the first 5 days of your period, you're protected from pregnancy right away. If you start later, you'll have to wait 7 days before you're protected, and you'll need to use a backup method. ####Tip 2 Think carefully about where you want to stick the patch—it'll be there for a full week. Like, what will you be wearing? How squishy is your flesh in each spot? (If you've got a bit of a tummy that makes folds, for example, the stomach may not be the spot for you.) ####Tip 3 Only peel off half of the clear plastic at first, so you'll have a non-sticky side to hold on to. ####Tip 4 Don't touch the sticky part of the patch with your fingers. It's a beeyotch to unstick. ####Tip 5 Press the patch down for a full 10 seconds to get a good, firm stick. ####Tip 6 Don't use body lotion, oil, powder, creamy soaps (like Dove or Caress) or makeup on the spot where you put your patch. Stuff like that can keep the patch from sticking. ####Tip 7 Check your patch every day to make sure it's sticking right. ####Tip 8 Fuzz happens. You'll probably get a bit of lint build-up around the edges, so plan accordingly. You can use baby oil to get any remaining adhesive off your skin. ####Tip 9 When you take a patch off, fold it in half before you throw it in the trash. That'll help keep hormones out the soil. And don't flush ‘em! The earth will thank you.
There are positive and negative things to say about each and every method. And everyone's different—so what you experience may not be the same as what your friend experiences.