©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Do You Need a Prescription for the Birth Control Patch?

Reviewed on 11/30/2018

Ask a Doctor

I need to start on hormonal birth control as I can’t afford to get pregnant anymore (we have four kids, and the fourth was an accident). My problem is I’m terrible at remembering to take my pills every day. I’m thinking about the patch, but it’s hard for me to get to the doctor (as I said before, we have four kids). Do you need a prescription for the birth control patch?

Doctor’s Response

The birth control patch is a transdermal contraceptive patch that releases hormones through the skin to prevent pregnancy. A new patch is applied onto the skin of the belly, upper arm, buttocks, or back once a week for 3 weeks, then one week off. If used perfectly, the birth control patch can be 99% effective in preventing pregnancy, however, most people do not use the patch perfectly so the overall effectiveness rate is 91%.

A prescription is needed to get the birth control patch. You can get a prescription from a doctor or nurse, a health clinic, or a Planned Parenthood health center.

A one-month’s supply (three patches) can cost up to $150 but they may be free with many health insurance plans and some government programs such as Medicaid.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 11/30/2018
References
Planned Parenthood. How do I get the birth control patch? 2018. 10 November 2018 .
CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW