Skip Nav
Yes, You Can Be a Disney Princess — Here's How!
Sink Your Teeth Into This Sexy and Spooky Halloween Playlist
100+ Halloween Costume Ideas Inspired by the '90s

What's the Deal With the Patch?

What's the Deal With the Patch?

All the women I know who don't want to get pregnant are on some type of hormonal birth control, because it's an easy, reliable and an extremely effective form of birth control (besides abstaining from sex altogether of course).

The Pill is great and all, but you have to remember to take it every day. The NuvaRing is also a hormonal birth control, but I've heard a few women complain about it falling out, or that their partner could feel it which leaves us with Ortho-Evra (more commonly known as the Patch).

Just like the Pill and the NuvaRing, the hormones found in the patch prevent you from ovulation. You simply have to put on a new patch once a week, for 3 consecutive weeks each month and then go "patch-free" the fourth week when you get your fake period.

What's Great:

  • It's just as effective as the Pill (99%) if used correctly.
  • It's discreet. You can wear it on 1 of 4 areas - upper outer arm, upper torso (front and back, excluding the breasts), abdomen, or your booty.
  • You can bathe, shower, swim, sweat, or work out with it.

To hear some drawbacks,


  • As with all hormonal birth control, there are serious risks involved, including blood clots and stroke. Also, the risk of heart attacks is increased if you smoke cigarettes while using the Patch.
  • It can leave a sticky mark on your skin, like band-aids do.
  • You have to check it everyday to make sure it's adhered to your skin.
  • Sometimes it can peel or fall off. If it's been off for less than 24 hours, just reapply a new patch and you are still protected against pregnancy. If it has been more than 24 hours, you have to apply a new patch, and use a backup method of birth control (like condoms) for the next 7 days.
  • The Patch does NOT protect against HIV or other STIs.

Dear's Advice: The FDA has warned women that since Ortho-Evra contains more hormones than regular birth control pills, they are at a greater risk of developing blood clots and other serious side effects. For most doctors, the Patch isn't the first form of birth control they'd suggest so if you are interested, talk to your doctor about the potential risks and whether it is right for you.


madhatter madhatter 10 years
Drawbacks? How about the fact that it's visible?? If you're about to have sex, he'll see it wherever you have it.
sakuravalentine sakuravalentine 10 years
I've been on it for two years, and I'm still on it. I love it, I could never go back to the pill (I was constantly worrying about it and forgetting to take it). About the ring of sticky adhesive (or "gook" lol), just use a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to get rid of it. Whipe, clean, and moisturize and you'll never know it was there. Always switch the location of the patch every week, don't put it on the same spot every time. As for it coming off, it's only happened to me once. I just told my doctor, and he gave me a spare that I can use if one should come off. However, it's very, very tough adhesive so it is really not going to come off unless you are consciously making an effort to remove it or you just didn't apply it right. Kay, I'll shut up now! I sound like a commercial.
stefsprl stefsprl 10 years
I was on the patch for a year and didn't like it...besides the ever-present ring of "gook" (as my husband called it), I couldn't bathe or swim without it falling off. Plus, on a couple pairs of my jeans the waistband hit the edge of the patch just right and it would pull it off! I was constantly worried that it was falling off. I've been on the pill for eight months now and it's working so much better for me.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 10 years
oh and to browneyedgirl stroke is a risk that comes with ANY HORMONES you would take. if it's hormonal, you're taking your body out of balance, whether it be pill, or patch, or shot. I bet most of the people who are afraid of the patch are FREAKED OUT by the fact that you can now go with 4 periods a year. it's medically accurate to say you DON'T NEED 4 periods, and it's medically accurate to say that by taking hormones of any kind there are risks, side effects and benefits.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 10 years
I'm actually on the patch right now. It's nothing big. It gets lint stuck to the rim of the adhesive but that comes off with scrubbing in the shower. at the very first week I had a little teensy bit of nausea, but that's part of what they warn you about going on hormones. There really isn't all this big deal. It doesn't cause cancer because then Planned Parenthood wouldn't distribute it. The problems with the patch are common to other types of hormones, like the shot, or pill, or nuvaring. Don't listen to hype. It really depends on the person. I knew I'd be alright with the patch because my sister has been on it for over two years and is still fine and hasn't had any issues. It does have a higher dosage of hormones than the pill but that's because you put it on once a week and don't take a pill every single day. The pill is great for people who have a set schedule and are good at following. Those "slackers" who don't, like me, have an easier time with the patch because you don't have to remember anything for a week. I constantly forget to take my allergy pills so I knew that the patch was a better idea for me than the pill. Talk to a doctor about ALL of your options, there are quite a few. most of them are easy, mess free, and free if you qualify with planned parenthood.
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 10 years
Everything I've heard about the patch freaked me out... SO I started on Yasmin and Love that stuff... no icky side effects....and I just set the alarm on my cell phone so I can remember
lushisliz313 lushisliz313 10 years
I was actually on the Patch for 2 years and have recently been off of it for about 6 months and couldn't be happier. It made me insanely depressed and I always felt gross. I finally asked my gyno if I could get a lower dose of estrogen b/c it was making me crazy, and she told me that it only comes in one dose-the highest possible. She told me that basically it fries your insides within the first 3 days of application. Since I've been off of it, I've felt better as a whole and I am no longer crazy b/c of the high dosage of hormones!
rlveronica rlveronica 10 years
I was on the patch for a year but switched to Yasmin because of everything I heard about the patch but the only thing I didn't like was the freakin' square it left on my butt! Haha.
br0wneyed9irl00 br0wneyed9irl00 10 years
purpleorchid, i'm not a doctor but i think smoking is a much bigger health risk than the hormonal birth control. but you're right, we shouldn't take a medicine if it isn't neccessary.
br0wneyed9irl00 br0wneyed9irl00 10 years
the patch is SO DANGEROUS! i'm amazed you left the stroke risk out until after "read more." i didn't think anyone was prescribing it anymore. i tried nuvaring and loved not having to take a pill everyday, but i'm staying on the pill until they make a generic version. i love how the pill makes my periods bearable, and even skip-able if i have a tough week for it. finals, camping, and sport competitions don't get along with tampons, bloating, lethargy and nausea! plus it's cleared up some of my leftover acne.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
my friend uses the patch and she constantly has a sticky residue on her stomach. she can't get rid of it!!
smartypantssugar smartypantssugar 10 years
I had the patch and LOVED it. Because of all the issues surronding it, my doc took me off and put me on Nuava Ring. Which is fine (I really like only dealing with it twice a month) but I now get a tiny bit of cramps. Nothing like before I started taking anything, and nothing that is enough to stop me from living my life, but still. I have had it fall out doing the deed though. Oh well, the boyfriend can deal.
books-and-shoes books-and-shoes 10 years
I used the patch for 2 or 3 years. I liked it because I had trouble remembering to take the pill everyday at the exact same time or it was embarrassing for me to have to pop out my pills in front of other people when I did remember. Looking back, I suppose the patch was a bit of a PITA with the sticky residue and not-so-conspicuous visibility during warm weather but by far my favorite method at the time. The hubby hated the Nuvaring. I'm now on the Mirena IUD which I ADORE!!! I've had absolutely no problems, cramps or anything and I haven't had a period in over a year! Unfortunately, it is only recommended for women who are monogamous and have had at least one birth.
kiwisox kiwisox 10 years
I've been on the patch for years and years and I absolutely love it. Sometimes I get a sticky ring, but not often. They never fall off of me like some people report. Admitedly, this is one of the only BC's that I have used. I used Seasonell for a little while, but hated it. Instead of having a period every 3 months I had a continual period for 3 months. So, I switched back to the patch and decided to stick with it. In my opinion it is at least worth trying cause it is so much simpler than taking a pill every day. I am interested in Nuvaring, though.
PrincessAmes PrincessAmes 10 years
Yeah my gyno wouldn't give me a refill for the patch because it was being pulled of the market eventually, if not already. I have the nuvaring and its great. My hubby says he can feel it if I forgot to take it out. I'm thinking about going the Merdina (sp) route - the five year thing. Either that or he's getting a V.
MegLahr MegLahr 10 years
Did'nt they pull the patch? I thought they found it caused cancer?
starofsorrow starofsorrow 10 years
I actually tried the patch for a while...the only problems I ahd with it other than what's already listed is that I developed a pretty nasty rash. I guess it wouldnt' be recommended for someone who has very sensitive skin. =)
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 10 years
No no no no no...DON'T use the Patch. I hated that stupid thing. Like the others, there was the nasty ring around the patch, and the adhesive around the patch would actually stick to my clothes. So therefore, whenever I'd take my shirt or pants off, the patch would come off along with it. Which meant I had to put on another one, and start the week over, and....UGH. So I got an IUD instead. Best thing ever!
princess_eab princess_eab 10 years
I had two friends who had very, very bad reactions to the Patch. I can't believe someone's NuvaRing FELL out? That seems impossible. I and a couple of my friends have used it for years and we love it. I have zero complaints. I can see how it could fall out if you don't put it in right, but it really does stay in there and it's by far the best and easiest form of BC I've ever used. And this is from someone who's incredibly squeamish and scared of birth control in general... didn't touch it until I was 24.
BKNYGal BKNYGal 10 years
I'm one of those women who can't take ANY of those hormones. I've tried Depo (got pregnant on that one by the way), the Lo-Estrin, The Patch (bad reaction from the glue - itchy and bumpy under the patch) and a couple of other various pills. I've received numbness in my arms, MIGRAINES FROM HELL, slight loss of memory, etc. I was going to get a tubal ligation because I couldn't take it anymore! I have a son and don't want any more kids. So, I found the hormone free IUD. I LOVE IT!!!!!! It's also improved my marriage if you know what I mean.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
I tried the patch but I couldn't stand the sticky stuff on my skin and how it got dirty like Whip said. So back to the Pill I went.
Stacey-Cakes Stacey-Cakes 10 years
I was on the patch for several years and really liked it. It was much more convenient than the Pill because you only had to remember to change it once a week as opposed to everyday. I never had a patch fall off and the sticky adhesive would come off easily with a scrub. My periods only lasted 3-4 days and I never got cramps. The only reason I stopped using the patch was my insurance company started paying less of the cost. By the end of last year my insurance company would only pay $6 or it so I had to pay $40 a month. However when I switched to the Pill, I only have to pay $5 a month.
psangel psangel 10 years
I use to use the patch. I just had to many bad headaches with it and felt nausea alot. The Dr. then presrcibed me Loestrin, which is a birth control pill. I like alot of people hate taking pills each day, however with this birth control your period only last maybe 3 days. The doctor also told me this has the lowest form of estrogen.
purpleorchid027 purpleorchid027 10 years
I was on the pill for 10 years (I'm 26) and am a smoker. Last year I developed unusually high blood pressure for my age and had to quick taking the pill and start taking high blood pressure medication. Now I can't take the pill, patch, or ring (which sucks). I can't help but feel like it was because I was on the pill for so long. They say if you're over 35 but.... Don't take hormonal birth control unless you have too!
sparklestar sparklestar 10 years
They won't give me the patch at my clinic. They say it is too expensive and they would rather put me on the pill. Due to being on Depo Provera though I am pretty infertile now and having used the "wing and a prayer" method for a year I am still very much not pregnant. I am fairly convinced that one of us is infertile and if not then we could handle a pregnancy anyway. *shrug*
What to Do When You Miss Taking a Birth Control Pill
What Happens When You Go Off Birth Control
Trump Rolling Back Birth Control Mandate
What Will Happen to My Body When I Stop Taking Birth Control Pills?
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds