When Birth Control Fails

What If the Contraceptive Patch Falls Away?

December 27, 2017

The patch is a highly effective contraceptive method when used correctly. In reality, the patch is just as effective as birth control pills and is a fantastic alternative, reversible, hormonal imbalance. Research suggests that the patch may even offer additional Benefits to this pill, for example:

  • Since the hormones in the patch undergo the skin, directly into the bloodstream (and don’t need to be ingested), its therapeutic effects can be achieved at lower dosages.
  • Hormone levels do not fluctuate as much since there’s a steady stream of hormones being released (this could lead to fewer unwanted effects).
  • The patch just needs to be re-applied once a week, therefore it doesn’t require you to remember to use it daily. This can improve compliance and effectiveness.
  • The patch offers dependable pregnancy protection for women who have difficulty swallowing pills.

Even though the patch provides excellent protection against becoming pregnant, this efficacy can be compromised if it isn’t used correctly.

Implementing the Patch

You must stick the patch onto your upper torso (but not your breasts), stomach, buttocks or upper arm. It is suggested that you use another site every time that you put on a new patch.

If The Patch Falls Off

The rule of thumb in this scenario is dependent upon how long the patch has been partly or completely detached. When it’s been less than 24 hours, you can just reattach the exact same patch at precisely the exact same location (as long as it is still tacky ).

It is also possible to replace it with a new patch. If your patch has fallen off for more than 24 hours, you MUST apply a fresh patch (throw out the one that has dropped off). The afternoon that you replace the patch will subsequently become the new day of the week that you alter your spot (so if you replace a dropped off the patch on a Tuesday, then you will alter it on Tuesday of the following week).

It’s also wise to use a backup birth control method for the first seven days after you have implemented a new patch because it was more than 24 hours because the previous patch dropped off.

It appears, however, it is uncommon that a patch will drop off. To discover more regarding the prevalence of patch detachment, I researched an article on UpToDate — an electronic reference used by many doctors and patients searching for comprehensive medical information. According to UpToDate:

“In various trials, 1.8 percentage of transdermal patches required replacement for total detachment and 2.9 percent became partly detached. Living in warm, humid climate didn’t increase the risk of detachment. The quality of adherence was illustrated in a study where 30 women were exposed to various conditions over a number of pre-programmed time intervals during transdermal patch usage. The conditions contained regular activity, use of a sauna, immersion in a whirlpool bath, use of a treadmill followed by showering, cool water immersion, and a combination of these activities. Only 1 patch became dispersed during the 87 cycles which were evaluated, suggesting that skin adherence isn’t adversely affected by a vigorous, athletic way of life.”

This research implies that the adhesion reliability of the patch is excellent. The results show that just a small percentage of contraceptive spots either partially fall off (2.9 percent) or totally come off (1.8 percent). Also, keep in mind that the women in those studies were subjected to dynamic circumstances –probably engaging in these actions for longer durations than typical girls do. It appears, then, the patch sticks… no matter warmth, humidity, exercise, whirlpools, swimming and bathing/showering. So even though it’s important to understand what to do in case your patch falls off, odds are very high that it won’t.

Should You Forget to Modify the Patch

To be effective, you have to replace the patch (on the same day) after a week for three weeks. Then, you go one week without it. If you want to change the day you apply the patch, then you are able to choose a brand new day to place it on during the patch-free week (week 4).

The following are guidelines That Will Help You understand what to do if you forget to apply your patch (based on which week on your cycle You’re in):

  • First Patch (Week 1) — if you forget to put the patch on past your scheduled launch day, stick on a new patch when you remember (this day will turn into your new day each week to change the patch). To avoid pregnancy, make sure that you use back-up birth control (condoms, spermicide( the sponge) for seven days.
  • Second or Third Patch (Weeks 2 or 3) — since there is about a two-day amount of continued release of hormones that are abundant, you have a two-day late-window to change the patch at the start of Week 2 or 3. If you have left the patch for up to 2 extra days, you may simply apply your new patch at this time. You do not need to change your”patch change day,” and you don’t need extra contraception. When it’s been two or more days when you see that you forgot to change the patch, you are at a much greater risk of birth control failure. If you’ve had sex within this time frame (three or more days past the start of Week 2 or 3), then it may be wise to employ emergency contraception. Also, you will have to use backup birth control for seven days (starting with the day you change your patch) and might need to switch your patch change day to the day you remember to modify your patch.
  • Forgetting to Eliminate Your Third Patch — if you forget to take off the patch at the start of Week 4 (your patch-free week), that is fine. Just remove it if you recall. You can still start your new cycle (Week 1) in your regular scheduled patch change day.