It is a thin, beige, plastic patch that you can place any where on your body. It lasts a one week. It is known as Ortho Evra. The Patch releases the same hormones as The Pill — estrogen and progestin. These hormones prevent pregnancy  by keeping eggs from leaving the ovaries and making cervical mucus thicker.

When always used as directed it is 99% effective.

How It Works

Get a prescription from your healthcare provider. Most often, women start using the ring within the first five days after the start of their periods.

Stick the patch on your body.  Most common places are the skin of your buttocks, stomach, upper outer arm, or back. Wear the patch for three weeks, remove it on the fourth and stick on a new one the following week.

Side Effects

Serious side effects of the birth control patch, though rare, may be more likely if you have certain conditions. Some of these conditions may even rule out using the patch.

You should not use the patch during prolonged bed rest or if you

  • are pregnant
  • get migraine headaches with aura
  • have certain inherited blood-clotting disorders
  • have had blood clots or vein inflammation
  • have had breast or liver cancer
  • have had a heart attack, stroke, or angina
  • have had serious heart valve problems
  • have lupus with certain conditions
  • have serious liver disease
  • have uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • have very bad diabetes
  • smoke and are 35 or older
  • smoke and have high blood pressure

If you have a condition that makes it unsafe to use the patch, don’t worry. There are many other methods of birth control that may be safe for you if you cannot use it.


Note to Self

Costs about $15–$80 a month.

If the patch falls off or you miss a day or two,  immediately put on a new patch. Use a back-up birth control for the next 7 days.