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Ortho Evra

Ortho Evra or "the patch" is a hormonal method of birth control in the form of a skin patch worn on the body.

How Ortho Evra Works:
When you wear the patch it's technology delivers a steady flow of hormones through the skin and into your bloodstream over a period of seven days. It contains the same hormones found in the pill, progestin and estrogen. Like the birth control pill, Ortho Evra works in several ways to help prevent pregnancy:

It helps prevent ovulation, which means that an egg is not released by one of your ovaries for fertilization.

It thickens cervical mucus so that sperm are less likely to enter your uterus.

It causes changes in the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) to reduce the likelihood of implantation.

Should You Use Ortho Evra?
The patch is great for women who want an easy-to-use method of birth control. Patches are easy to apply, and adhere well to the skin. Women using the Patch have less bleeding and cramping during their periods. The Patch doesn't interfere with sex. It is not recommended for women who smoke, or women with a history of heart attack, stroke, or blood clots.


The patch has been proven to be 99% effective, the same as the pill, when used as directed. In typical use, it is 92% effective.

The Patch does not prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

The patch is easy to use; it is applied once a week for three weeks. No patch is worn on the fourth week.

You don't have to remember a pill each day, as with oral contraceptives.

Since the Patch releases a steady, consistent dose of hormones each month, it produces a lower incidence of headaches, nausea, breakthrough bleeding and breast tenderness then most oral contraceptives.

The Patch causes fewer hormonal ups and downs than most hormonal methods.

Doesn't require any interruption of sex or foreplay to protect against pregnancy.
The manufacturer states: “Shower, swim, exercise. The Patch stays put. Our patch technology allows Ortho Evra to adhere well to the skin. In a special study conducted in warm and humid conditions—including swimming, bathing, sitting in a sauna, working out on a treadmill, and soaking in a whirlpool—the birth control patch showed excellent sticking power.
So you have one less thing to think about in your busy day.”


Normally, the Patch stays in place. If it should fall off, follow the manufacturer's instructions for reattachment. If it is off for more than 24 hours, you can become pregnant. See your health care provider for an alternate method of birth control.

The Patch requires a prescription and a gynecological exam before you can get it.

Cigarette smoking increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease; women who use combination hormonal contraceptives are strongly advised not to smoke. See "You Can Quit Smoking!"

The patch does not protect you from HIV or other infections.

Where Can I Buy It ?

In the United States, the patch requires a prescription and then you can buy it at any pharmacy. You can sometimes get a prescription for the patch from your doctor, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, health department or family planning clinic. *Talk to the person prescribing the patch for complete information on potential side effects.

The use of combination oral contraceptives is associated with increased risks of several serious side effects, including blood clots, which may lead to stroke or heart attack.  It is unknown if the risk of blood clots is different with OrthoEvra use than with the use of certain birth control pills. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

For Information about the risks of OE, see: Ortho Evra Risks

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