Remembering to change your patch on time can be hard. And some people get side effects that bother them (but they usually go away in a few months).

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You have to change the patch on time.

It’s really important to put on a new patch on the same patch change day every week, or you might not be protected from pregnancy. Using reminder apps or alarms or marking your calendar can help you stay on schedule.

If you have a really busy life and think you won’t stay on top of changing your patch, check out other birth control methods like IUDs or implants that are almost impossible to mess up.

Take our quiz for help finding the birth control method that’s best for you.

There can be negative side effects.

Like all medications, the birth control patch can have some side effects. But the most common ones usually go away after 2 or 3 months. Many people use the patch with no problems at all.

The hormones in the patch can cause bleeding between periods, tender breasts, headaches, or nausea. Some people notice a little soreness on their skin where the patch is.

Birth control shouldn’t make you feel bad. Luckily, you have many birth control options. If you keep having side effects that bother you after using the patch for 3 months, talk with your nurse or doctor about finding another kind of birth control that will work better for you. But remember: if you stop using the patch before you start using a new birth control method, you’ll be at risk of pregnancy.  

Some side effects of the patch are serious.

Serious problems from using the birth control patch are very rare. People using birth control that has estrogen, like the patch, have a slightly higher chance of a few rare but dangerous problems than people who don’t use birth control with hormones. Read more about birth control patch safety.

Check out the package insert that came with your patch or talk to your nurse or doctor for more information about side effects.

The Patch

  • 91% effective

  • Costs up to $80, but can be $0

  • Prescription required

  • Change it once a week

The patch doesn’t protect you from STDs. Use a condom with your patch to help stop pregnancy and STDs.
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