The birth control patch is used to prevent pregnancy. The birth control patch has some advantages over other types of birth control:
- It eliminates the need to interrupt sex for contraception
- You don't need your partner's cooperation to use it
- It doesn't require daily attention or having to remember to take a pill every day
- It provides a steady dose of hormones
- It's easier to use for women who have trouble swallowing pills
- It can be removed at any time, allowing for a quick return to fertility
The birth control patch isn't appropriate for everyone, however. Your health care provider may advise against the patch if you:
- Are age 35 or older and smoke
- Have chest pain or a history of heart attack, stroke or severe high blood pressure
- Have a history of blood clots
- Have a history of breast, uterine or liver cancer
- Weigh more than 198 pounds (90 kilograms)
- Have liver disease or migraines with aura
- Have diabetes-related complications of the kidneys, eyes, nerves or blood vessels
- Have unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Developed yellowing of the whites of the eyes or of the skin (jaundice) during pregnancy or when previously taking hormonal contraceptives
- Are about to have major surgery and will be unable to move around as usual
- Are taking any medications or herbal supplements
- Are sensitive to any part of the birth control patch
In addition, tell your health care provider if you:
- Are breast-feeding or recently gave birth, had a miscarriage or an abortion
- Have concerns about a new breast lump or change in your breast self-exam
- Take epilepsy medications
- Have diabetes, or gallbladder, liver, heart or kidney disease
- Have high cholesterol or triglycerides
- Have irregular periods
- Have depression
- Have skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema
Dec. 23, 2015
- Birth control methods fact sheet. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.html. Accessed Nov. 10, 2015.
- Xulane (prescribing information). Morgantown, W.Va.: Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.; 2014. http://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=f7848550-086a-43d8-8ae5-047f4b9e4382. Accessed Nov. 30, 2015.
- Zieman M. Overview of contraception. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 10, 2015.
- Hatcher RA, et al. Contraceptive patch and vaginal contraceptive ring. In: Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media; 2011.
- Burkman RT. Transdermal contraceptive patch. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 10, 2015.
- Nelson AL. Transdermal contraception methods: Today's patches and new options on the horizon. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy. 2015:16:863.
- Orange Book: Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/ob/docs/obdetail.cfm?Appl_No=200910&TABLE1=OB_Rx. Accessed Nov. 10, 2015.