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Norelgestromin, ethinyl estradiol


The Xulane patch is a combined hormonal birth control you stick to your skin. It prevents unexpected pregnancy.

Subscribe to EveAdam to buy Xulane online and get it delivered from a US pharmacy as often as you need.

From only $127.62 per month


Xulane is a transdermal (fancy way of saying “on your skin”) patch used for birth control. It’s a combined method with two hormones, just like the pill, but you don’t have to worry about taking it every day. Instead, the patch is worn for a week at a time before it needs to be changed. 

If you’re thinking about the patch, you can buy it online with an EveAdam subscription. After an online consultation where a licensed doctor checks over your medical history and birth control needs, you’ll be recommended several options (including Xulane, if it’s right for you). Then, your prescription is off to our preferred online pharmacy to get filled. It’ll show up at your door in 2-5 days and your subscription covers refills, so you decide when you want another shipment. It’s easy, discreet and all completely online.

How does the Xulane Patch work?

Xulane is a low-maintenance form of birth control because it doesn’t have to be remembered every day. You place it on your skin and wear it for a week at a time. The recommended areas for the patch are your stomach, cheeks (the ones you sit on), upper arm or the back of your shoulder.

After 3 weeks of wearing patches, you’ll have a patch-free week. This is when you’ll have your period.

Like the pill and the ring, the Xulane patch is a hormonal birth control. The hormones progestin and estrogen are released into the body in a steady flow while you’re wearing it. 

This protects you from pregnancy in three different ways. The hormones stop an egg being released (ovulation), so it can’t be fertilized. They make vaginal mucus thicker, so it’s harder for sperm to get through. And they also keep the uterine lining from growing, so it can’t harbor an egg as easily. This last bit has the added effect of stopping or lessening your flow during your period.

How effective is the Xulane patch?

When taken correctly (by this we mean exactly as explained in the package insert), Xulane is up to 99% effective.[1] This means out of 100 women who use the patch properly, fewer than one will become pregnant over the course of a year.

Perfect use of the patch tends to happen during clinical trials. But for one reason or another, it’s less likely in day-to-day life. Maybe the patch peels off or you delay in putting on a new patch after the patch-free week, compromising its effectiveness. Making the occasional mistake is known as “typical use,” and for the patch this is thought to make it between 91% and 94% effective (meaning that out of 100 women using it typically over 12 months, between 6 and 9 will fall pregnant).

If you’re worried about how effective your patch is, you could use another method of birth control to further protect you — but it shouldn’t be another hormonal method. The hormones found in the patch, the ring or the pill are carefully measured to be safe. Use a method like condoms or a diaphragm for extra cover instead.

Is the Xulane patch better than the pill?

Some women prefer it because they don’t need to remember it every day like they do with the pill. Another advantage is that when you use the pill, vomiting and diarrhea can lead to a dip in your protection. Since the patch isn’t taken orally, being sick doesn’t impact your protection levels.

When the patch is used “perfectly,” the rate of effectiveness is the same as when you use the pill perfectly.[2] So it comes down to how you prefer to administer your birth control.

Page reviewed by:
Dr Bruce Oran
Dr Bruce Oran
Senior Medical Adviser
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Last updated November 1, 2021


Can I skip a period on the Xulane patch?

The week you aren’t wearing your patch is when you’ll have your period. It is possible to keep wearing patches back-to-back instead of taking a week off, or to rearrange how you use your patches so you get your period on a specific week. Both of these options are considered off-label use, meaning you’re using the birth control in a way that isn’t in the official instructions.

If you’re interested in wearing patches back-to-back (also called “stacking” birth control) or otherwise changing how you time your patches, it’s important to speak to a licenced doctor first. There are various safety risks associated with not having a break between patches, and breakthrough bleeding often happens even with this method.

Because stacking the patch means you’re skipping a patch-free week, you’ll also need to make sure you have enough patches. Chances are you’ll want to have refills ready to go faster than you would otherwise.

Is Xulane like Ortho Evra?

Xulane vs the pill. Which is better?

How to buy Xulane online

Where do I put the Xulane patch?

Place your patch on clean, unbroken skin on your thighs, abdomen, buttock, upper outer arm or upper body. Wherever you chose to place the patch, you should make sure that it won’t be rubbed by tight clothing.

These are the only parts of the body where you can place the Xulane patch. You should not place the patch on your breasts, for example, because it’s not safe. It also shouldn’t be placed on dry, broken or irritated skin.

Be mindful about using any creams, lotions, powders or oils around the area where you’ve placed your patch. The patch might not stick properly or might come off as a result.

When it’s time to change the patch, you should switch sides. So if you’ve been wearing your patch on the left side of your body, for the next week it should be worn on the right.

What do I do if the Xulane patch won’t stay on?

What do I do if the patch falls off?

When can I start Xulane?

What are the most common side effects of the Xulane Patch?

Whenever you use hormonal birth control, like the Xulane patch, side effects are a possibility. They could occur when you use any kind of medication. Many side effects aren’t anything to worry about.

Some side effects are really common, and normally go away as you continue using the patch after a month or two. But for more serious side effects, you should seek medical assistance and stop using Xulane.

Breast swelling or tenderness, nausea, unexpected bleeding or breakthrough bleeding are some of the more common symptoms of the Xulane patch.

What should I do if I get Xulane side effects?

Can Xulane cause serious side effects?


Before you start using Xulane, you should read through the package insert. You can read further safety information about the birth control patch at the link below.

More info

Xulane side effects

Common: Breast swelling, tender breasts, nausea, vomiting, headaches, irritations where you have applied your patch, cramps, painful periods, breakthrough or unexpected bleeding, changes to your period, bloating, migraines, changes to your sexual desire, acne, weight gain, changes to your mood. Rare:

Lumps in your breasts, worsening or new depression, severe stomach pains, changes to your periods (like heavy periods, constant spotting or missed periods), yellowing eyes or skin. 

Serious allergic reactions are rare, but it’s important to be able to identify the symptoms of a reaction. This includes rashes, itching/swelling of your face, tongue or throat, severe dizziness or having trouble breathing. 

Xulane warnings


[1] Glazote, R.M. Et al. 2016 Transdermal delivery of combined hormonal contraception: a review of the current literature. International Journal of Women’s Health. U.K. Dovepress.

[Accessed 2nd July 2021]

[2] Audet M.C. Et al. Evaluation of Contraceptive Efficacy and Cycle Control of a Transdermal Contraceptive Patch vs an Oral Contraceptive. U.S.A. JAMA Network.

[Accessed 5th July 2021]