Birth Control Basics: The Patch

By Eva

Not into the idea of taking a pill every day or inserting anything in your vagina? Maybe you should consider the patch, or Xulane (the brand name). You only need to change it once a week, and it goes directly on your skin.

What is it?
Xulane (the patch) is a thin, beige (it only comes in the color beige) piece of plastic that you stick to your skin. It’s kind of like a Band-Aid that prevents pregnancy.

How do you use it?
Simply apply the patch each week for three weeks, then remove it the fourth week to get your period. If you want to skip your period, just put a new patch on the fourth week instead. You can stick the patch on your butt, stomach, upper outer arm or upper torso, just not on your boobs!

How does it work?
Once the patch is stuck on your skin, it releases estrogen and progestin which prevents your ovaries from releasing eggs. The hormones also thicken your cervical mucus to block sperm from getting to the egg.

How much does it cost?
The cost depends on whether you have insurance or not. If you don’t have insurance, the price ranges from $30-$44 a month. If you have insurance, it is usually free under most plans. If you have Medicaid, it’s also free.

Is this right for you?
If you’re over 35 and smoking, it can increase the risk of certain side effects. Also, the patch may be less effective if you weigh more than 198 pounds. Take these points into consideration when choosing the patch as a contraception. You can also chat with one of our doctors about whether the patch is right for you, who will be more than happy to help you find the best birth control that works for you.

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