How to Apply a Birth Control Patch

By Robin Jessie-Green

  • Overview

    The birth control patch is a convenient method for pregnancy prevention. Using the patch allows you to receive protection from an unplanned pregnancy with the same effectiveness as an oral contraceptive, only without the daily upkeep (OrthoEvra.com). All you need for pregnancy prevention is to apply your birth control patch properly once a week. The following are steps to assist you in applying your birth control patch.
  • How to Apply a Birth Control Patch

    • Step 1

      Decide where on your body you would like to place the birth control patch. You may prefer to place the hormonal contraceptive on a discreet part of your body. You can apply the patch to nearly any area with the exception of the breasts. For your safety, avoid applying the patch to this area. You should not allow the considerable amount of estrogen delivered by the patch to be absorbed through the breast tissue. Instead, place it on a limb, your buttocks, back or stomach.


    • Step 2

      Prepare your skin for application of the birth control patch. Do this by cleansing the area with warm water and soap or rubbing alcohol. You will want to rid the skin of excessive oils or moisturizers you may have applied previously. Make certain that your hands and the area where you will be applying the patch are dry.
    • Step 3

      Open the foil pouch that contains the birth control patch by tearing along the edge. Be careful not to use scissors or other cutting tools, which may inadvertently cut through the patch. If you cut or damage the birth control patch, you risk causing its ineffectiveness for adequate birth control protection.
    • Step 4

      Remove the birth control patch with the clear protective film in tact until you are ready to apply the patch. The clear plastic film covers the sticky surface of the birth control, an area you want to avoid touching. Separate the patch from the protective film immediately prior to applying the contraceptive to your skin.
    • Step 5

      Use your fingernail to separate the patch from the plastic film by lifting it at one corner and peeling it halfway off. Do this carefully to ensure you are removing the patch and not part of the liner with the contraceptive. This may occur if the patch is particularly sticky.
    • Step 6

      Place the portion of the birth control patch you have begun to remove from the clear plastic film to your body. Gradually apply to your skin as you continue to remove the patch entirely from the plastic. Press and smooth the patch down for several seconds to ensure it adheres to your skin completely.
    • Skill: Moderately Easy
    • Tip: Alternating locations weekly can be effective for finding the best personal placement.
    • Tip: Apply the birth control patch where clothing is least likely to rub against the edges of the patch.
    • Tip: Pharmacists offer replacement patches in the event they come off unexpectedly.
    • Warning:
    • Consult a physician if irritation or rash develops.
    • Remember to apply a new birth control patch weekly for three weeks with the fourth week off for menstruation.
    • Do not use the patch if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant.

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