Stick It To Me: My Patch Won't Stick Advice

It's easy to get a contraceptive patch to stick: pick a clean spot, not one where clothing rubs, apply, and gently give it about 10 seconds of pressure, and you're done for the next week's contraception. In fact, contraceptive patches are a very successful method of birth control for many women. Contraceptive patches  can be started virtually any day of your cycle (use back up for 7 days), they are fairly rapidly reversed, they have a very steady hormone level, and they can even be used longer than three consecutive weeks to provide long cycles and less bleeding. For women who find it difficult to remember pills or keep to a regular time of day oral contraceptive schedule--patches are much easier! It is a very effective method. Bloating has never been reported to change the stickiness of the patch, but over time, if you gain weight and weigh over 200 pounds you should know that the patch effectiveness may not be as good. Over time the stickiness of the the contraceptive patch is one thing we do discuss with our patients. it does have to stick on to your skin in order to be effective. Most patch users will have the most trouble in the very first cycle, but after that most studies show that only 2-5% of patients will have patches detach over the next year. For virtually all but a very few percent of women getting your patch to stick where you put it is not a problem. Make sure that the spot you picked for your patch is not only clean, but free of irritations, cuts, lotions or bruises; and of course never apply the patch to your breasts. If the patch does detach, and you've been consistent with patch use up to that time, and it is under one day, just pop another one on there. If your patch is just a bit loose around the edge and you can get it to stick back down, it's fine and you can still rely on your patch. If you skip more than two days of patch use, consider it like a new start, and be sure to use your back up for at least seven days after you reapply the new patch. One complaint women may have when using the patch  that a very small rim of lint can form around the edge of the patch. Textbooks recommend dusting around your patch with a fine powder, like talcum, or 'baby' powder. If you get the lint anyway, and you've applied your powder, just swipe away with some mineral oil. For more successful hints on getting rid of patch problems, check the manufacturer's labels, or check with your health care provider. For unusual pains, bleeding, or possible side effects, also call your gyno right away.


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