Birth Control Patch Brands: Best Options and Where to Find Them (2023)

Birth Control Patch Brands: Best Options and Where to Find Them (1)Share on Pinterest

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The birth control patch is a safe, low maintenance method of hormonal contraception.

Often, people choose the patch instead of another birth control method — such as the pill, intrauterine device (IUD), shot, or implant — because the patch is highly effective and easy to care for.

Xulane and Twirla are the only birth control patches currently on the market that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But you have several options when it comes to where you order your patch. Here, we’ll share information about the available patches and explain how various telehealth birth control websites work.

Regardless of which birth control patch brand you choose or where you get it, the birth control patch is still 99 percent effective when used correctly. It is a safe form of contraception.

Birth control patches are a safe method of hormonal contraception. These small patches stick to your skin and need to be replaced once per week.

The patches work by gradually releasing hormones into your bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. According to the National Health Service (NHS), each patch contains estrogen and progestogene, just like the combination pill.

The patch prevents ovulation, or the release of an egg each month. However, the patch does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so it’s a good idea to continue using condoms as an additional barrier.

Many people prefer the patch because it’s low maintenance. You only need to change it once per week. After every 3 weeks, you’ll remove the patch for 1 week. This is when you should get your period.

The patch can stay on when you shower or swim. It can also help regulate your period. And since it’s hormone-based, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests it may even lower the risk of ovarian, womb, and bowel cancer. There is a small risk of blood clots or cancer from using the patch.

You need a prescription to get a birth control patch. Additionally, your doctor will likely recommend going with a different form of birth control if you:

  • breastfeed
  • smoke
  • are overweight
  • take certain medications, such as St. John’s wort or medications used to treat epilepsy, tuberculosis, or HIV
  • have certain health conditions, such as liver or gallbladder disease, diabetes-related complications, chest pains, high blood pressure, heart problems, a history of blood clots, or a history of breast, uterine, or liver cancer

According to Planned Parenthood, the patch is 99 percent effective when you use it correctly. When you account for user error, the patch is 91 percent effective. Sticking to the instructions as closely as possible will help ensure the patch is effective for you. Some factors that may affect its effectiveness include:

  • if you don’t put a new patch on every week
  • if the patch falls off after 1 or 2 days
  • if you are in a larger body

Pros and cons of the birth control patch

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  • It’s highly effective with a 99 percent success rate when used correctly.
  • It’s low maintenance.
  • It may regulate your menstrual cycle.
  • You can get pregnant right away when you stop using the patch.
  • Planned Parenthood says it may lessen or prevent certain conditions, like acne, bone thinning, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), cysts in your bones or ovaries, and more.


  • It doesn’t protect against STIs.
  • It may irritate your skin.
  • You may experience some side effects, like spotting or bleeding between periods, sore breasts, nausea, and headaches.
  • More exposure to estrogen increases the risk of side effects compared with regular birth control pills.

The main birth control patch brands available are Xulane and Twirla. Planned Parenthood says these are the only two patches approved by the FDA in the United States.

You might also be familiar with the brand name Ortho Evra. Ortho Evra and Xulane contain the same active ingredients, and Xulane is the generic version of Ortho Evra. Ortho Evra was discontinued in 2014 in the United States, leaving Xulane and Twirla as the primary options available.


Xulane is a birth control patch that contains two female hormones: an estrogen called ethinyl estradiol, and a progestin called norelgestromin. When used as directed, this combination can be just as effective as the pill.

To use Xulane, place the patch securely on your skin once each week for 3 weeks. Do not apply your patch during week 4, then begin a new 4-week cycle.


The Twirla patch also contains two female hormones: a progestin called levonorgestrel, and an estrogen called ethinyl estradiol. Similar to Xulane, Twirla is a safe and effective method of birth control. Apply your first Twirla patch during the first 24 hours of starting your period.

To get a birth control patch from a doctor in person, visit your general health practitioner or a local health clinic for an appointment. The nurse or doctor will discuss your medical history with you, and together, you’ll decide what form of birth control is best.

Some doctors may perform exams before prescribing the patch, but most people don’t need a pelvic exam to get the patch. You will most likely be given a prescription to pick up the patches at your local pharmacy.

(Video) Debunking top myths about birth control pills | GMA Digital

If you’re using a telehealth platform or another online company, you’ll need to provide some information about your medical history. Depending on the company you use and your location, you may need to also complete a video or phone consultation with a doctor or nurse practitioner.

If the doctor decides the patch is a good form of birth control for your lifestyle and medical history, they will prescribe the patch. The company may ship it to your door or provide a prescription at your local pharmacy.


Birth control prescription service SimpleHealth prescribes Xulane. They accept almost all major insurance plans, and birth control is free with most plans. Xulane costs $130 per month out of pocket or $0 copay with most insurance.

To get birth control from SimpleHealth, fill out a questionnaire about your medical history and pay a one-time consultation fee of $15. After a doctor reviews your information, they’ll write you a prescription for a method of birth control. Then your birth control, including refills, will be automatically shipped to your door.


Telemedicine company Nurx accepts most forms of private health insurance for medications. Nurx provides Xulane for as little as $0 with insurance or $180 per month without.

Nurx users can get birth control by sharing information about their health history. A licensed medical professional will review your information and write you a prescription for birth control, and you’ll need to pay $15 for the medical consultation. Then, Nurx will ship your birth control to your door with free delivery.

Get started with Nurx


Lemonaid offers a mail-order pharmacy where you’ll need to pay out of pocket. Alternatively, if your insurance plan covers the medications prescribed by Lemonaid, you can ask this telehealth company to send your prescription to your local pharmacy. Birth control from Lemonaid is a flat fee delivered every 3 months for $15 per pack.

To get a Xulane birth control patch from Lemonaid, you’ll pay $25 for an online consultation with the company’s medical team. Some states require a phone consultation, others do not. You can then pick up a Xulane patch from your local pharmacy. Otherwise, your birth control will be delivered every 3 months for $15 per pack.

Get started with Lemonaid

Pandia Health

Pandia Health offers the Twirla birth control patch. First, you’ll pay $20 to fill out the company’s online form. Next, the doctor will review your medical history and write a prescription. Finally, Pandia will deliver your birth control patch straight to your doorstep for free.

If you have insurance, you’ll pay as little as $0 for the first month of Twirla, and after that, as little as $25 per month. If you’re paying out of pocket, you can expect to pay $50 per month for Twirla. Pandia accepts almost all insurances.

(Video) Finding the Right Birth Control Option | Ashley Brant, DO

Birth control patches work by releasing hormones into your system through your skin, according to the NHS. These hormones are estrogen and progestin — the same hormones found in most birth control pills. When your body absorbs the hormones, they prevent your ovaries from releasing any eggs.

The birth control patch also thickens the cervical mucus. That way, if an egg does slip through, sperm would have trouble reaching it.

Yes, the patch is nearly as effective as other birth control methods. Planned Parenthood says that when used correctly, both the birth control patch and the pill are 99 percent effective. An IUD is more than 99 percent effective. And, when used correctly, so is the birth control shot, according to the NHS.

Your doctor or healthcare professional may advise against using the patch if:

  • You are a person in a larger body.
  • You are 35 years or older and you smoke.
  • You’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

You also may need to avoid the patch if you have health conditions such as:

  • liver or gallbladder disease
  • diabetes-related complications
  • chest pains
  • high blood pressure
  • heart problems
  • a history of blood clots
  • a history of breast, uterine, or liver cancer

You might be interested in the patch if:

  • You have trouble swallowing pills.
  • You want to return to fertility at any time.
  • You forget to keep up with daily medication.

Potential side effects

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If you’re on a birth control patch, you might experience side effects including:

  • an increased risk of blood clotting problems, heart attack, stroke, liver cancer, gallbladder disease, and high blood pressure
  • skin irritation
  • breast tenderness or pain
  • headaches
  • nausea or vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • mood swings
  • weight gain
  • dizziness
  • acne
  • diarrhea
  • muscle spasms
  • vaginal infections and discharge
  • fatigue
  • fluid retention

Only two birth control patches are available in the United States: Xulane and Twirla. Since both patches are very similar, you shouldn’t have much trouble choosing one.

The main difference between the two patches is the hormones they release. Xulane contains an estrogen called ethinyl estradiol and a progestin called norelgestromin, while Twirla contains ethinyl estradiol and a progestin called levonorgestrel. A healthcare professional can help you figure out the best choice for you.

Although there aren’t many patches approved in the United States, you do have several options for where you order your birth control. You can opt for a telehealth service that accepts most major insurance plans and automatically delivers your patch for free.

What birth control brand is the cheapest?

The exact cost of your birth control patch will vary based on where you get your birth control. But without insurance, you can expect to pay approximately $175 for a box of Twirla and the same price for a box of Xulane.

Can you still get pregnant on the patch?

Like any method of birth control, there is a small chance that you might get pregnant on the patch. If you use the patch perfectly, pregnancy happens to less than 1 in 100 women during the first year of using the birth control patch.

The birth control patch is a safe, effective method of contraception. And with so many telehealth services available, it should be simple and quick to get Xulane or Twirla from whichever source you prefer.

Hailey Hudson is a full-time freelance writer and content marketer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She focuses in the health, marketing, and education industries. Clients include Livestrong, Runner’s World, Dell, and others. Hailey is also a novelist and a musician.


What is the difference between XULANE and Zafemy? ›

It used to be available as the brand name Ortho Evra. However, Ortho Evra isn't made anymore. Another generic form of Ortho Evra is available, and it's called Xulane. Zafemy and Xulane have the same active ingredients.

Where is the best place for birth control patch? ›

You can place the patch on your buttock, upper outer arm, lower abdomen or upper body. Don't put it on your breasts or in a place where it will be rubbed, such as under a bra strap. Apply to skin that's clean and dry. Avoid areas of the skin that are red, irritated or cut.

What birth control patches are available? ›

There are two brands of birth control patches available in the U.S.: the Xulane patch and the Twirla patch.

Where can I get patches? ›

You need a prescription for the birth control patch. You can get a prescription from a doctor or nurse at a doctor's office, health clinic, or your local Planned Parenthood health center. In some places, you can get a prescription through the Planned Parenthood Direct app or directly from a pharmacist.

Is Twirla or Xulane better? ›

Twirla was found to be more effective in women with a lower BMI. The pregnancy rate per 100 woman-years of Xulane use was 1.07 (95% CI 0.6-, 1.76). Xulane is thought to be less effective in women with a higher BMI. In a year-long phase 3 trial, 5% of all the Twirla patches (55,900) worn fully detached.

What if my Zafemy patch falls off? ›

If the patch falls off, re-apply it or apply a new patch within 24 hours.

Is Xulane a brand or generic? ›

Xulane (ethinyl estradiol and norelgestromin transermal system) is a generic version of Ortho Evra, a birth control patch used to prevent pregnancy.

Are patches better than the pill? ›

Both the patch and pill are equally effective at preventing pregnancy. Your likelihood of getting pregnant depends on how closely you follow the directions. Fewer than 1 out of 100 people who take the pill or apply the patch as directed will get pregnant in any given year.

What are the disadvantages of the birth control patch? ›

The most common side effects are spotting or bleeding between periods, sore breasts, nausea, or headaches. But these usually go away after 2 or 3 months, and they don't happen to everyone who uses the patch. Birth control shouldn't make you feel sick or uncomfortable.

Is Xulane safer than Ortho Evra? ›

Xulane is a generic version of the ethinyl estradiol and norelgestromin birth control patch. It contains the same ingredients as the Ortho Evra patch and is equally effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly.

How much does Twirla patch cost? ›

The cost for Twirla transdermal film (30 mcg-120 mcg) is around $211 for a supply of 3 film, depending on the pharmacy you visit. Prices are for cash paying customers only and are not valid with insurance plans.

Are all birth control patches the same? ›

There are currently two types of birth control patches approved in the United States. Each delivers both an estrogen and a progestin, similar to a combination pill. However, the type of progestin is different in each patch: Xulane contains norelgestromin (progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (estrogen).

How expensive is a patch? ›

Without insurance, the patch costs about $55 per month, a little more than other prescription methods.

Can you get the patch for free? ›

If there are no problems, you can be prescribed the patch for a year at a time. You can get contraception for free, even if you're under 16, from: contraception clinics. sexual health or GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinics.

How much do patches cost? ›

75% Embroidered Patch Pricing
7 more rows

Is there a generic for Twirla? ›

Twirla is available only as a brand-name medication. It's not currently available in generic form. A generic drug is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication.

Can I put Twirla patch on my arm? ›

It's easy to use the Xulane patch or Twirla patch: just stick a new patch to clean, dry skin. You can put Xulane or Twirla on your belly, buttocks (butt cheeks), or back. You can also put Xulane on your upper outer arm. Always check the expiration date before putting on a new patch.

What makes the patch less effective? ›

Delaying or missing a weekly application or removing a patch too early lowers its effectiveness and increases the chance of pregnancy. For girls who weigh more than 198 pounds (90 kilograms), the contraceptive patch may be less effective in preventing pregnancy.

Is Zafemy generic for XULANE? ›

Xulane® (ethinyl estradiol/norelgestromin) – First-time generic. March 1, 2021 - Amneal launched Zafemy™, an AB-rated generic version of Mylan's Xulane (ethinyl estradiol/norelgestromin) transdermal system.

What happens if I wear a patch on my patch free week? ›

If you want to not get a period, just skip the patch-free week and start a new pack of patches on week four. If you decide to wear the patch continuously, you may have some bleeding or spotting for the first six months. This is totally normal, and will most likely go away eventually.

How long does the Zafemy patch stay in your system? ›

The Zafemy transdermal system uses a 28-day (four-week) cycle. A new patch is applied each week for three weeks (21 total days).

Who should not use Xulane? ›

Before you use XULANE:

If you are pregnant or think you are pregnant. If you are scheduled for surgery as XULANE may increase your risk of blood clots after surgery. You should stop using your XULANE patch at least 4 weeks before and through at least 2 weeks after surgery.

Why does Xulane have more estrogen? ›

Hormones from XULANE get into the blood stream and are processed by the body differently than hormones from birth control pills. You will be exposed to about 60% more estrogen if you use XULANE than if you use a typical birth control pill containing 35 micrograms of estrogen.

Does Xulane patch cause weight gain? ›

Can Xulane (norelgestromin / ethinyl estradiol) cause weight gain? It's possible for your weight to go up while using Xulane (norelgestromin / ethinyl estradiol). In clinical studies, about 3% of people reported weight gain with this medication.

Can the patch cause weight gain? ›

Does the patch make you gain weight? Nope! Birth control patch weight gain isn't a common side effect. There's lots of research on the hormones in the birth control patch, and studies show these hormones don't usually cause weight gain or weight loss.

Which is safer estrogen patch or pill? ›

While some experts believe that estrogen patches may be safer than oral estrogen in other ways, it's too early to know. So, for now, assume that estrogen patches pose most of the same risks -- a very small increase in the risk of serious problems, like cancer and stroke.

What is better the patch or the ring? ›

From an effectiveness standpoint, the birth control pill, ring and patch are identically effective at preventing pregnancy. Used perfectly, all three forms of birth control have a 99 percent effectiveness rate.

Does the patch make you dry? ›

It doesn't happen to everyone, but for some women, hormonal birth control causes dryness. The biggest culprit is the Pill, but patches and rings can do it, too. "They mimic the second half of the menstrual cycle, which is a progesterone-dominant, low-estrogen state.

Should I trust the patch? ›

If you use it perfectly, the patch is 99% effective. But people aren't perfect, and it can be easy to make a mistake — so in reality, the patch is about 93% effective. That means about 7 out of 100 patch users get pregnant each year. The better you are about changing your patch on time, the better it will work.

What can cause the patch to fail? ›

The patch. The patch contains hormones like the pill, but it sticks to the skin (1). The patch can fail if it detaches and isn't replaced, or if the patch isn't replaced weekly (1).

Why is Ortho Evra patch being discontinued? ›

WHY IT'S NO LONGER AVAILABLE. The FDA warned that women who used the patch were being exposed to levels of estrogen far higher than women who use birth control pills. As much as another 60% more. Exposure to high levels of estrogen has been linked to an increased danger of blood clots.

Where should you not put Xulane patch? ›

Place the patch on your upper outer arm, abdomen, buttock or back. XULANE should be placed where it won't be rubbed by tight clothing like under your bra strap or waistband of clothing. It should not be placed on the breasts, on cut or irritated skin, or on the same location as the previous patch.

Is Xulane high estrogen? ›

These are primarily related to estrogen. At 35 mcg per day, Xulane contains about 60 percent more estrogen than the average oral contraceptive. Thus, you may be at an increased risk for estrogen-related side effects.

Is the patch covered by insurance? ›

Birth control methods that are covered by this requirement of the Affordable Care Act include any that are approved by the FDA: Birth control patch. Birth control pills. Birth control ring (Annovera, NuvaRing)

How effective is Twirla patch? ›

In the SECURE Trial, Twirla was 95% effective in preventing pregnancy, which is consistent with other combined hormonal contraceptives.

Where does the Twirla patch go? ›

Speaking of periods...
  1. Apply Twirla to the lower abdomen, buttock, or upper torso (excluding the breasts)
  2. Apply Twirla to clean, dry skin, free from makeup, creams, lotions, oils, powders, and other products.
  3. Make sure the patch is lying flat and smooth with no wrinkles or folds.

Which is better implant or patch? ›

Birth Control Implant

It works for up to 3 years, and your doctor can remove it any time before that. Also like IUDs, implants are also 20 times more effective than pills, patches, or rings. Some women have irregular bleeding during the first 6 to 12 months. For most, periods get lighter and happen less often.

Can you shower with birth control patch? ›

It can also get wet in the shower or in the bath. But the patch should not be moved or removed until the week is over (pulling the patch off to reposition or move it may cause it to lose some of its stickiness and it might fall off easily). If the patch does not stick well, a replacement patch should be applied.

Can I put tape over my birth control patch? ›

Do not use anything (such as tape) to try to hold a patch in place that is no longer sticky. You are still protected and do not need to use any additional contraceptive methods. Continue to use your patch as normal and change it on your normal day.

Whats a good size for a patch? ›

Most frequent size used: 4″ to 5″ in height.

Are the good patch reusable? ›

Q: Are the patches reusable if u don't use them for the full 12 hours? A: Our patches are for one time use only.

What happens if you nut in birth control patch? ›

If you've been using the birth control patch correctly (and it sounds like you are), you're protected. As long as you put the new patch on after your “off week” (the week you don't wear one), you're protected from pregnancy – even during your “off week” and during your period.

What is the failure rate of the patch? ›

Typical use failure rate: 7%. Patch—This skin patch is worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks, or upper body (but not on the breasts). This method is prescribed by a doctor. It releases hormones progestin and estrogen into the bloodstream.

Where is the best place to put a patch? ›

Put the patch on clean, dry, hair-free skin on the upper body. Usual places to put the patch are the upper chest, upper arm, shoulder, back, or inner arm.

Does a patch go on the inside or outside? ›

Turn Your Jeans Inside Out:

If you are patching your jeans with scrap denim and fusible, you should apply the patch from the inside. If you are using a cool iron-on patch like those from 2015 BNMDA-ers The Hill-Side you should apply them from the outside.

What material is best for patches? ›

Felt is the most preferred choice for patches because the edges do not fray like other fabrics. Felt patches also require less edge finishing, so you don't have to worry about loose stitching.

Is Zafemy generic for Xulane? ›

Xulane® (ethinyl estradiol/norelgestromin) – First-time generic. March 1, 2021 - Amneal launched Zafemy™, an AB-rated generic version of Mylan's Xulane (ethinyl estradiol/norelgestromin) transdermal system.

Is there a generic for Xulane patch? ›

What Is Xulane? Xulane is a generic version of the ethinyl estradiol and norelgestromin birth control patch. It contains the same ingredients as the Ortho Evra patch and is equally effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly. The FDA in 2014 approved Xulane as a generic alternative to Ortho Evra.

What is the brand name for Xulane? ›

Xulane is a generic version of the brand-name drug Ortho Evra. But Ortho Evra is no longer available. Zafemy is another generic version of Ortho Evra. It contains the same active ingredients as Xulane.

What is Zafemy? ›

Zafemy® is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy in women with a body mass index (BMI) < 30 kg/m2 for whom a combined hormonal contraceptive is appropriate. Limitations of Use: Zafemy may be less effective in preventing pregnancy in women who weigh 198 lbs (90 kg) or more.

Are Xulane and Twirla the same? ›

The main difference between the two patches is the hormones they release. Xulane contains an estrogen called ethinyl estradiol and a progestin called norelgestromin, while Twirla contains ethinyl estradiol and a progestin called levonorgestrel.

Is Zafemy AB rated to Xulane? ›

On March 1, 2021, Amneal launched Zafemy™, an AB-rated generic version of Mylan's Xulane (ethinyl estradiol/norelgestromin) transdermal system. — OrthoEvra® was the original brand and reference listed product (RLD). However, OrthoEvra was discontinued in 2014 and at that time Xulane became the RLD.

Can you buy Xulane over the counter? ›

Xulane is a prescription medication patch used to prevent pregnancy.

What is Mylan patch? ›

Mylan Fentanyl Patch is a skin patch that gradually delivers fentanyl through the skin into the bloodstream for 72 hours. The amount of fentanyl released per hour from each rectangular transparent patch is directly related to the surface area of the patch.

What is Xulane for? ›

This patch contains combination hormone medication and is used to prevent pregnancy. It contains 2 hormones: a progestin (norelgestromin) and an estrogen (ethinyl estradiol). Using this medication does not protect you or your partner against sexually transmitted diseases (such as HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia).

How many patches come in Xulane box? ›

Xulane 150-35mcg Patch - Box of 3 Patches.

How long do Xulane side effects last? ›

Most of these side effects are temporary and usually go away within 3 months after your body gets used to the hormones in Xulane. You should call your doctor if the symptoms last longer than this or if they're severe. It's also possible to experience little to no side effects while using the birth control patch.


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