How Effective is the Birth Control Patch?
When you use any type of birth control, you want to know how effective it is and if there are any time restrictions or other considerations about its use. This will mean reducing its failure rate and ensuring you have the best results.
The birth control patch is applied once per week, and the hormones in the patch are absorbed through the skin. The typical timeframe of effectiveness for those hormones is three days, which means that if you’re up to three days late in changing your patch, you should still be protected, but the patch should be changed on schedule for maximum effectiveness. It contains only so many hormones that protect you from an unexpected pregnancy, and each woman’s system is different so that three-day timeframe is no guarantee of effectiveness. If you’ve neglected to change your patch on schedule, consider a backup or secondary method of birth control such as a condom.
The failure rate of the birth control patch is at about 0.8%, meaning you have an 8 in 100 chance of getting pregnant each time you have sex. While this failure rate is very low, you may want to consider additional birth control while using the patch. A woman using the patch should never use oral contraceptives at the same time, but a condom, spermicidal foam, and withdrawing at the point of ejaculation will help to ensure protection against pregnancy.
If you have any questions about the effectiveness of using the patch and its time restrictions, speak to your doctor.