Basics about the CONTRACEPTIVE PATCH (Ortho Evra®)
- The CONTRACEPTIVE PATCH works mainly by keeping
the woman’s egg from leaving her ovaries.
- It is a weekly hormonal birth control patch that is
worn on the skin to prevent pregnancy.
- It delivers continuous levels of norelgestromin and ethinyl estradiol
through the skin and into the bloodstream.
Couples might LIKE the CONTRACEPTIVE PATCH because:
- It does not interrupt having sex.
- There are no pills to take every day.
- It needs to be changed ONLY once a week for three weeks in a row, then
it is removed for one week "patch-free”
Couples might DISLIKE the CONTRACEPTIVE PATCH because:
- Offers no protection against transmission of STIs/STDs and HIV/AIDS
- May not be the right option for women who want total privacy with their
birth control decision since it must be worn
How well does the patch work?
The Ortho Evra birth control patch is 99% effective when used correctly.
How does the contraceptive patch compare with the effectiveness of other forms of birth control?
Women out of 100 that got pregnant using the methods below
How does it work?
Ortho Evra prevents pregnancy the same way as birth control pills. It works primarily by preventing ovulation. It also causes changes to the cervical mucus and the endometrium.
The patch is worn for one week and replaced on the same day of the week for three consecutive weeks, with
thefourth week patch-free.Your doctor will advise you which way will be best for you to start the patch.
Ortho Evra uses a 28-day, or four-week cycle. You should apply a new patch on the same day of the week for three
consecutive weeks, for a total of 21 days. You should not apply a patch during the fourth week. Your menstrual
period should start during this “patch free” week. Every new patch should be applied on the same day of each week.
This will be your “Patch Change Day.” For example, if you apply your first patch on a Monday, all your patches
should be applied an a Monday. You should only wear one birth control patch at a time.
The birth control patch may be worn on the buttocks, abdomen, upper torso (front and back, excluding the breasts)
or upper outer arm.To apply the patch open the foil pouch by tearing it along the top edge and one side edge. Peel
the foil pouch apart and open it flat. You will see that a layer of clear plastic covers the patch. It is important to
remove the patch and the plastic together from the foil pouch. Using your fingernail, lift one corner of the patch and
the plastic off the foil liner. Peel away half of the clear plastic and be careful not to touch the exposed sticky surface
of the patch with your fingers. Apply the sticky side of the patch to the skin you have cleaned and dried, then
remove the other half of the clear plastic. Press firmly on the patch with the palm of your hand for 10 seconds,
making sure the edges stick well. Run your fingers around the edge of the patch to make sure it is sticking properly.
Check your patch everyday to make sure all the edges are sticking. To remove your used patch, simply lift one
corner and quickly peel back. Carefully fold the used patch in half so that it sticks to itself before throwing it away.
You can expect your menstrual period to begin a few days after removing the third birth control patch (during the
patch free week). Remember to apply your new patch to a new area of skin that is clean, dry, and free of lotions,
oils, and creams.
Possible side effects:
- Breast symptoms
- Skin irritation at the application site
- Upper respiratory illness
- Menstrual cramps
- Abdominal cramps
Serious risks, which can be life threatening, (these risks are increased if you smoke) include:
- Blood clots
- Heart attacks
Signs there might be a problem:
You should go to your nearest hospital emergency room if you experience any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Severe pain or tenderness in the stomach area
- Sharp chest pain, coughing of blood, or sudden shortness of breath
- Crushing chest pain or tightness in the chest
- Sudden severe headache or vomiting, dizziness or fainting
- Sudden partial or complete loss of vision
- Pain in the calf
- Breast lumps
- Severe problems with sleeping, weakness, lack of energy, fatigue, or change in mood
- Jaundice or yellowing of the skin or eyeballs