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Contraceptive Patch
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The birth control patch. You only need to change it once a week. So it’s ideal for women who don’t want to take a pill every day.

Talk to us to get birth control options suited specifically to you. Choose which birth control you’d like and order your birth control patch online.

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This page was medically reviewed by Ms Laurenmarie Cormier, Nurse Practitioner on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.
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    Birth Control Patch: Here's what we've got.
    Evra Patch

    Evra Patch

    Norelgestromin and Ethinyl Estradiol

    A bit like a bandaid, works in the same way as the combined pill. Changed weekly with a 7 day break every month.

    • Starting from CAD125.00

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    Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a doctor.

    What is the birth control patch?

    The contraceptive patch is a pretty convenient type of birth control. It doesn’t need to be fussed with every day, which gives it an edge over the pill, and it doesn’t need to be inserted anywhere, which makes it simpler than the contraceptive ring. For many women, it’s the perfect option.

    It’s discreet too. The patch can be worn under clothing, so nobody will know that you’ve got special hormones in your bloodstream protecting you from becoming unexpectedly pregnant.

    The patch is worn for a week at a time. This means you’ll change your patch on the same day every week. Don’t worry: it’s sticky enough to stay on your skin for that long, even when you shower. After three weeks of wearing patches, you’ll have a patch-free week before applying a new one and repeating the cycle.

    What birth control patches are there?

    The one birth control patch available in the US is Xulane. It’s only available as combined birth control. At the minute, there’s no patch version of the progestin-only pill.

    How birth control patches work

    Much like the combined pill, birth control patches contain two hormones. One is a progestin, and the other an estrogen. These hormones occur naturally in your body too, and they impact what your body goes through each month to prepare itself for possible pregnancy. Here are the basics.

    Ovulation is when the ovary releases an egg. If that egg is fertilized, it travels to the uterus and attaches itself to the wall to grow. The lining of the uterus gets thicker just before this, making it easier for a fertilized egg to settle in.

    The hormones in the birth control patch stop each bit of this process from happening. They can prevent ovulation, make the lining of the uterus thinner and make the mucus in your cervix thicker, so it’s harder for sperm to swim through. So no egg, no welcoming walls to attach to and no fertilization.

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    Medically reviewed by
    Ms Laurenmarie Cormier
    Nurse Practitioner
    on August 02, 2022.
    Meet Laurenmarie  
    Laurenmarie
    This page was medically reviewed by Ms Laurenmarie Cormier, Nurse Practitioner on August 02, 2022. Next review due on August 01, 2024.

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    When we present you with stats, data, opinion or a consensus, we’ll tell you where this came from. And we’ll only present data as clinically reliable if it’s come from a reputable source, such as a state or government-funded health body, a peer-reviewed medical journal, or a recognised analytics or data body. Read more in our editorial policy.

    How well does the birth control patch work?

    When used correctly (as directed on the package insert), the patch is over 99% effective. This means that within a year, out of 100 women using the patch, fewer than one of them will become pregnant.

    Correct use requires taking off the patch when you need to and replacing it at the right time, including after your patch-free week is over and you’re starting a new cycle. But correct use isn’t always possible. Life happens.

    When life happens, it’s called “typical” use. This includes forgetting to change the patch, putting it on late or the patch coming off by mistake. When used “typically,” the patch is still around 91% effective. So that means 9 in 100 women using it will get pregnant over a whole year.

    When to start using birth control patches

    When you should start using the patch depends on whether you’re already using hormonal birth control.

    If you haven’t been using other birth control methods, you can start using the patch on the first day of your period — or any day of your period up until the fifth day. You’ll be protected against pregnancy straight away.

    If you start on any other day, you won’t be protected immediately and should use a back-up birth control method like condoms for a week. That gives the hormones in the patch enough time to become active.

    When switching from the combined pill to the patch, put the patch on one day before your pill-pack finishes. If you’re changing from the contraceptive ring to the patch, you should put on a patch two days before removing the ring.

    Where to put the birth control patch on the body

    You can wear the patch on your thighs, buttocks, upper outer arm or upper body. Just make sure to place it on clean, unbroken skin. Don’t place the patch on dry, irritated or cracked skin.

    Wherever you place the patch, make sure that it won’t be rubbed by tight clothes. This could make the patch less sticky, causing it to fall off. Be careful when applying lotions, creams or powders to the area where the patch is too.

    When it’s time for you to take your patch off and put on a fresh one, you should place your new one on the opposite side of your body. Change your placement each week. If you’ve just worn your patch on the left side, wear the next one on your right.

    Are there any other birth control patches besides Xulane?

    No. Xulane is currently the only one. It’s the only type of contraception available that you can use on a weekly basis. There’s no mini pill (single hormone) version of the patch at present.

    Weekly applied contraception isn’t working. What else is there?

    If you’re looking for birth control that you can take every day, pills are an option for you. Or if you’d prefer to not have to think about using contraception on a daily basis, there’s the vaginal ring (which you change once a month). There’s also the injection (which you receive every three months) and the IUD (intrauterine device) which protects you from pregnancy for 5 or 10 years, depending on the type of IUD.

    Is it easy to switch from the patch to another method?

    Yes. If you’re not happy with the patch, you just need to log into your Treated account and send us a message. We can talk you through alternative birth control methods and advise you on which ones are safe and suitable for you.

    Birth control patch: FAQ

    Have something specific you want to know? Search our info below, or ask our experts a question if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

    What if I leave the Evra Patch on for too long?

    Answer:
    Change it when you remember, and check the leaflet for more info. You might need to use extra barrier contraception for a few days, but this depends on how long it’s been since you’ve missed your change time, and when in your cycle it’s happened.

    If you forget to change your patch during week 2 or 3 of your cycle, and it’s been less than 48 hours since, you shouldn’t need to use extra contraception. If it’s been longer, then you’ll likely need to use a barrier contraceptive like a condom for up to a week to stay protected.

    Leaving the patch on for longer than normal into your fourth week (which would normally be a patch free week) won’t make

    What are the hormones in Evra Patch?

    Answer:
    Norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol. These are really similar to progesterone and estrogen and just like the hormones you get in the combined pill. They stop you from ovulating, make your uterine lining thinner, and make cervical fluid thicker so sperm can’t swim through.

    These hormones enter the body through the skin when you use the patch. With the pill, they go into your bloodstream after you’ve swallowed it.

    Can I stop periods with Evra Patch?

    Answer:
    Evra Patch, like other forms of hormonal contraception, will help to make periods lighter and more regular for most women. But there is an ‘off-label’ way of using the patch that means you probably won’t get periods at all. If you don’t want to have your monthly period, you can just skip the 7-day break and go straight on to the next patch. This is great for holidays and special occasions.

    This involves using the patch continuously, and skipping the 7-day break altogether. It’s safe to use in this way but you’ll go through more patches. Before you use Evra Patch in this way, you should discuss it with our clinician. Because it’s an ‘off-label’ use (not licensed to use in this way by the manufacturer) they’ll need to check if this method is safe for you.

    Will I get a period after stopping Evra Patch?

    Answer:
    Yes, but it may take a couple of months before your cycle returns to normal. Because your body has been used to the hormones in Evra Patch, it will need time to adjust to not getting these.

    So after you stop Evra Patch, your periods might be quite irregular for a few months. This is more likely to happen if your periods were already irregular before you took birth control.

    Can I get pregnant on Evra Patch?

    Answer:
    The effectiveness of the patch is the same as the pill with perfect use. So if you use it exactly right, without making any mistakes, it’s very unlikely (less than 1% chance) that you’ll get pregnant.

    If you make an occasional mistake when using the patch, it’s slightly less effective. So it is possible to get pregnant if you forget to change it and don’t remember for several days, or if the patch comes off and you don’t notice.

    The best way to make sure it is effective is to follow the instructions.

    Does Evra Patch cause weight gain?

    Answer:
    Some users of contraception treatments like Evra Patch have reported gaining (or losing) weight. There’s not a lot of evidence to suggest that hormonal birth control is responsible for weight gain.

    It’s something that’s reported less commonly with Evra Patch than it is with most pills. But if you think you may be gaining weight since starting Evra Patch, let our clinician know. They may be able to help you find a different contraceptive.

    Do people get acne on Evra Patch?

    Answer:
    Some women who use contraceptive patches, just like pills, may develop acne, or find that their acne gets worse. If this becomes a problem for you, sign in to your Treated account and leave our prescriber a message. They can discuss alternatives with you.

    Are there other versions of Evra Patch?

    Answer:
    In Canada, Evra Patch is the only birth control treatment of its kind. There are no other patches, at the moment licensed for contraception. That means that there’s only one Evra Patch dosage too. So if you use Evra Patch but need that little extra bit of control over menstrual symptoms, you’ll need to switch to the pill.

    In the US, the same patch is called ‘Ortho-Evra’. There’s also an alternative called Xulane, which has a slightly higher progestogen dose. But it isn’t available here.

    What should I do if Evra Patch is peeling off?

    Answer:
    The patch is very good at staying on even when you’re showering or exercising. But if you find that it is coming off, you should try to stick it back on. If the patch you’re wearing has lost its stickiness, you should use a fresh one.

    Make sure you check the patch is still there each day. If the patch comes off, but you notice within 24 hours and apply a new one, your protection shouldn’t be lowered. But if the patch comes off and more than 24 hours has passed since, you’ll need to use extra barrier contraception for a few days after replacing it. Read the leaflet that comes with your patch for more info on what to do if this happens.

    Why should I buy Evra Patch with Treated?

    Answer:
    It’s hard to know where to start with birth control when you’ve got contraceptive pills, the patch and the ring to choose from.

    At Treated, once you’ve told us about your health, we’ll advise you on the right options just for you. You can then choose which specific contraceptive you’d like, how often you’d like us to deliver it to you, and the amount of it you want to receive from our pharmacy each time.

    Change, pause or cancel your subscription anytime.

    You may have questions about your birth control, or you might find that you’d like to switch to something else, or change your dose. You can message our clinicians at any time. They’ll also contact you regularly to see how you’re getting on with your treatment, and can make adjustments if you need them to.

    What should I do if the patch comes off?

    Answer:
    The patch is designed to stay on for a full week, even when you have a shower or go swimming. But sometimes, if the patch has rubbed against your clothes or if you don’t attach it to the skin correctly, it can peel away.

    If the patch has been off for less than 48 hours, you should stick it back on (assuming it’s still sticky enough). Press down on it for around 10 seconds to get it to reattach. After that, keep using your patch as normal and change it as you normally would.

    If the patch that came off isn’t sticky enough to be put back on your skin, put a fresh patch on, but stick to your original patch-changing schedule.

    You don’t need to worry about using another form of birth control if your patch has been off for less than 48 hours.

    If it’s been 48 hours or more (or if you’re not entirely sure how long the patch has been off your skin), you should use back-up birth control, as your protection will have been compromised. Use condoms or a diaphragm for 7 days and put a new patch on your skin. This day will now become your changeover day and you’ll begin a new cycle.

    If you’ve had unprotected sex since the patch has been off (or if you’re not sure your patch was still on when you had unprotected sex), you should take a pregnancy test.

    Can any woman use the birth control patch?

    Answer:
    No, the birth control patch isn’t suitable for all women to use. Because it’s a combined birth control method, it contains estrogen, which some women may not be able to take.

    It’s not safe to use the patch if:

    • you smoke

    • you are over 35 years of age

    • you have a history of blood clots

    • you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the patch

    • you have or had a cancer that is hormone sensitive (like breast cancer or uterine cancer)

    • you have liver disease

    • you’re breastfeeding

    • you’re diabetic


    It’s important to let our clinician know if you have any health problems during your consultation. In some cases, our prescribers may recommend a lower dose of hormones or the progestin-only pill instead.

    Can the birth control patch interact with other medications?

    Answer:
    Yes, hormonal birth control in general can be affected by other medications. So it’s important to let us know if you’re currently taking medication so we can make sure the patch is right for you.

    The contraceptive patch can interact with:

    • Hepatitis C medication

    • epilepsy treatment

    • drugs used to treat HIV

    • St John’s wort

    • Ospemifene (taken to treat dyspareunia)

    • Tamoxifen, sometimes known as Nolvadex (used to prevent and treat breast cancer)

    • Tizanidine (treats muscle stiffness due to a spinal injury or multiple sclerosis)

    What side effects can you get with the birth control patch?

    Answer:
    The most common side effects related to hormonal contraception should be mild and easy to manage, and they normally go away after a month or two.

    But if you get side effects that are making your life a bit more difficult, reach out to our clinician for some advice. They may recommend that you switch to a different contraceptive.

    The most common side effects of using the birth control patch are tender breasts, nausea, headaches and irregular bleeding (breakthrough bleeding or spotting). If you experience any of these side effects, don’t worry. They’re totally normal.

    Although they’re rare, there are more serious side effects which can have a significant impact on your health too. If you experience any serious side effects when you’re using the birth control patch, take it off and go to the hospital immediately.

    More serious side effects include: migraine; new or worsening depression; severe pains in your stomach; changes to your periods; jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin); lumps in your breasts; signs of a heart attack (chest pain, shortness of breath and feeling weak); signs of a stroke (your face drooping on one side, slurred speech and numbness on one side of your body); and signs of a blood clot (throbbing in your leg, breathlessness and coughing up blood).

    Can I get the birth control patch without a prescription?

    Answer:
    Like all hormonal birth control, the patch isn’t available over the counter, so you’ll need a prescription. This is so that you have a chance to talk to an expert, who will make sure the patch is the right birth control for you specifically.

    At Treated, we’ll take your health into account to make sure that the patch is safe and suitable for you to use.

    Why should I buy the birth control patch with Treated?

    Answer:
    We’re making contraception convenient. Tell us about your health, and get birth control recommendations from our clinicians. Choose your treatment and get it delivered from a licensed pharmacy. By subscription.

    With deliveries, you can set your own schedule, and the quantity of birth control patches you’d like to receive each time.

    We’re fans of aftercare too. You can sign into your Treated account and ask our prescribers questions about your birth control whenever you like. We’ll get in touch with you regularly to find out how you’re getting on with your treatment. And if you’d like to switch to a different contraceptive, we can advise you on all the alternatives.

    Change, pause or cancel your plan anytime.

    Can I skip a period on the Xulane patch?

    Answer:
    The week you aren’t wearing your patch is when you’ll have your period. It is possible to keep wearing patches back-to-back instead of taking a week off, or to rearrange how you use your patches so you get your period on a specific week. Both of these options are considered off-label use, meaning you’re using the birth control in a way that isn’t in the official instructions.

    If you’re interested in wearing patches back-to-back (also called “stacking” birth control) or otherwise changing how you time your patches, it’s important to speak to a licenced doctor first. There are various safety risks associated with not having a break between patches, and breakthrough bleeding often happens even with this method.

    Because stacking the patch means you’re skipping a patch-free week, you’ll also need to make sure you have enough patches. Chances are you’ll want to have refills ready to go faster than you would otherwise.

    Is Xulane like Ortho Evra?

    Answer:
    Yes, Xulane and the Ortho Evra patch are different versions, or generics, of the same birth control. That means they contain the same active ingredients and work in the same way (though Xulane has a slightly higher estrogen content). Generic versions of medications are all thoroughly tested, so you know they are safe to use.

    Ortho Evra is currently discontinued, so Xulane is a good choice if you were previously prescribed Ortho Evra and liked it.

    Xulane vs the pill. Which is better?

    Answer:
    The pill is one of the most popular options for birth control. It was revolutionary when it was released in 1960. That doesn’t mean it’s the best option for all women.

    Like the pill, Xulane is a combined birth control option. It combines both of the hormones used in contraception, estrogen and progestin. But rather than swallowing a pill every day, you wear the patch for a week at a time and those hormones are steadily released into your bloodstream.

    Although the pill is used by millions of women every day, it’s not a perfect birth control method. For it to be perfect, it would need to be used perfectly. And with something you need to remember to take daily, at the same exact time, perfect isn’t always achievable. Forgetting the pill or taking it late can make it less effective. And if it’s less effective, your chances of becoming pregnant increase. Because the patch is a weekly and not daily thing, it might be easier to work into your routine.

    Ultimately, no birth control method is universally better — it’s all about what works for you, both with your unique body and your lifestyle. You can speak to the licenced doctor during your EveAdam consultation about any birth control concerns.

    What do I do if the Xulane patch won’t stay on?

    Answer:
    The Xulane patch should stick to your skin and should stay there for the whole week. Place it on carefully and firmly press it down to make sure it isn’t loose. The skin the patch is placed on should be clean and unbroken. Avoid putting creams, powders and lotions on the patch.

    Wearing tight clothes that rub against the patch could make it more likely to fall off. If you’re concerned, try to place it somewhere that clothes aren’t going to rub against it.
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    4.8

    Our average rating based on 3344 reviews.

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