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Even though the patch is easy to use, you might forget to change it on time. Rarely, the patch can loosen or fall off. But don’t worry — you can still prevent pregnancy.

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What do I do if I forget to change my birth control patch, or if the patch gets loose or falls off?

If you’re using Xulane: 

Use this tool to help you figure out what to do if something goes wrong.

If you’re using Twirla:

Depending on what happened and where you’re at in your patch cycle, you may need to start a new patch cycle and use backup birth control. Here’s what to do in different situations:

The patch got loose or fell off, and it’s been less than 1 day (24 hours)

  • Try to stick the patch back on in the same place right away. 

  • Don’t put it back on if it’s not sticky anymore, has other stuff stuck to it, or gets stuck to itself — use a new patch instead.

  • If the patch won’t stick all the way back on your skin again, or you lost it, put a new patch on right away.

  • Your patch change day and patch cycle will stay the same — put on your next patch the same day you normally would.

  • You don’t need backup birth control or emergency contraception. 

The patch got loose or fell off, and it’s been more than 1 day (24 hours)
OR 
You don’t know how long the patch has been off:

  • You may be at risk for pregnancy.

  • Put a new patch on as soon as you can. This will now be your new patch change day.

  • Use a back-up method of birth control (like condoms) for the next 7 days. 

  • If you had unprotected sex during this time, you can use emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. 

You’re less than 2 days (48 hours) late changing your patch in the middle of your patch cycle (you wore the same patch for less than 9 days during weeks 1, 2 or 3 of your patch cycle):

  • Put on a new patch right away.

  • Your patch change day and patch cycle will stay the same — put on your next patch the same day you normally would.

  • You don’t need backup birth control or emergency contraception.

You’re 2 days (48 hours) late or more changing your patch in the middle of your patch cycle (you wore the same patch for 9 days or more during weeks 1, 2 or 3 of your patch cycle):

  • You may be at risk for pregnancy. 

  • Put a new patch on as soon as you can and re-start your 4 week patch cycle — this will be your new patch change day and day 1 of your patch cycle. 

  • Skip your patch-free week for this month.

  • Use a back-up method of birth control (like condoms) for the next 7 days. 

  • If you had unprotected sex during this time, you can use emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. 

You didn’t put on a new patch after your patch-free week and your patch has been off for more than 7 days in a row:

  • You may be at risk for pregnancy. 

  • Put a new patch on as soon as you can and re-start your 4 week patch cycle — this will be your new patch change day and day 1 of your patch cycle. 

  • Use a back-up method of birth control (like condoms) for the next 7 days. 

  • If you had unprotected sex during this time, you can use emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. 

If you forget to take off your patch for your patch-free week:

  • Take your patch off as soon as you can.

  • Your patch change day and patch cycle will stay the same — put on your next patch the same day you normally would.

  • You don’t need backup birth control or emergency contraception.

If you miss a period, you might be pregnant. But it’s also normal to have missed or light periods when you use hormonal birth control and not be pregnant. If you made a mistake with Twirla and miss 1 period, or you miss 2 periods in a row, take a pregnancy test just to be sure. 

Call a nurse or doctor — like the ones at your local Planned Parenthood health center — if you think you might be pregnant or you have any other questions about your birth control patch. You can also talk with a live health educator at our free chat/text line.

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The Patch

  • 93% effective

  • Costs up to $150, 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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