The Patch: Costs, How To Use
The Right Time health centers stock all methods of contraception and offer free or low-cost contraception to those who need it. If you have health insurance, chances are good that you’ll be able to get this method with no out-of-pocket cost.
- This method may be free or low-cost for you at The Right Time health centers.
- With Medicaid: Free
- With insurance: Free under most plans
- Without insurance: The full price of the patch can range from $30 - $44.
- Payment assistance: Ask your provider for extra samples, contact the Partnership for Prescription Assistance at 1-888-477-2669. Or, call Janssen Prescription Assistance at 1-866-317-2775. And make sure to check with your local The Right Time health care center to find out if they offer free or low-cost patches.
How To Use
The patch is simple to use. The only tricky part is remembering the schedule for putting the patch on and taking it off.
You can put the patch on your butt, stomach, upper outer arm, or upper torso—never on your breasts, though. Just stick a single, new patch on once a week for three weeks in a row, then go patchless (no patch) for the fourth week.
For example, let’s say it’s Tuesday and you put on a new patch. Tuesday becomes your “patch change day.” In other words, patches will always go on (or off) on Tuesdays.
You’ll probably get your period during the patchless week, and you may still be bleeding when it’s time to put the patch back on. That’s totally normal. Put it on anyway.
Check out these tips and tricks to make the whole thing easier.
If you start the patch within the first five days of your period, you’re protected from pregnancy right away. If you start later, you’ll have to wait seven days before you’re protected, and you’ll need to use a backup method.
Think carefully about where you want to stick the patch—it’ll be there for a full week. Like, what will you be wearing? How squishy is your flesh in each spot? (If you’ve got a bit of a tummy that makes folds, for example, the stomach may not be the spot for you.)
Only peel off half of the clear plastic at first, so you’ll have a non-sticky side to hold on to.
Don’t touch the sticky part of the patch with your fingers. It’s a beeyotch to unstick.
Press the patch down for a full 10 seconds to get a good, firm stick.
Don’t use body lotion, oil, powder, creamy soaps (like Dove or Caress) or makeup on the spot where you put your patch. Stuff like that can keep the patch from sticking.
Check your patch every day to make sure it’s sticking right.
Fuzz happens. You’ll probably get a bit of lint build-up around the edges, so plan accordingly. You can use baby oil to get any remaining adhesive off your skin.
When you take a patch off, fold it in half before you throw it in the trash. That’ll help keep hormones out the soil. And don’t flush ‘em! The earth will thank you.