Contraceptive Patch (EVRA®)

WHAT IS IT?

The contraceptive patch may be referred to by its brand name, EVRA patch, or simply as ‘the patch’. It is a thin, beige, flexible, square patch you wear on your body.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The patch is worn on the body (buttock, abdomen, upper torso (but not your breasts), or on the outside of your upper arm). Each week, for three weeks, the user takes off the old patch and applies a new patch. Then the woman goes 1 week (7 days) without a patch. Usually the woman starts her period within a few days of taking the patch off. At the end of the patch-free week, the woman applies a new patch to begin a new cycle.

Each week, the EVRA patch continuously delivers hormones through the skin and into the bloodstream for a full 7 days to prevent pregnancy.

EVRA contains 2 types of hormones: estrogen and progestin. Once you apply the patch to your body, these hormones are continuously transferred through your skin and into your bloodstream, where they prevent pregnancy in 2 ways. First, they prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs. Second, they thicken the mucous in your cervix, making it difficult for sperm to enter your uterus.

For more information, visit OrthoEvra.com.

HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?

If used perfectly, the patch is 99.7% effective in preventing pregnancy. Based on average use (e.g. not applying it properly), it is 92% effective. The EVRA patch does NOT offer any protection against STIs.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING THE PATCH?

ADVANTAGES:

  • a reversible and highly effective birth control method
  • once-a-week regimen; no daily contraceptive routine required
  • simple and easy to use
  • may regulate menstrual cycle
  • does not interfere with intercourse
  • expected to provide other benefits similar to oral contraceptives, although further research is needed in this area

DISADVANTAGES:

  • contains hormones
  • may cause irregular bleeding or spotting
  • may cause breast sensitivity or headache
  • does not protect against STIs
  • patch may detach from skin (less than 2%)
  •   may cause skin irritation at application site