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Ortho Evra®, more commonly known as the patch, is the first and only transdermal birth control system. The thin patch is worn on the body and contains hormones similar to birth control pills. It continuously releases hormones through the skin into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. A new patch is applied once a week for 3 weeks. During the fourth week a patch is not worn and a period occurs. After the fourth week, the cycle is repeated.
We will provide you with a prescription if you and your doctor decide that the patch is right for you.
The cost of Ortho Evra® can vary depending on where you buy it and your insurance coverage. You will need annual exam from your physician to continue your prescription.
Ortho Evra® is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly. It uses the same hormones as the pill, releases them in a more constant dose and the patch’s effectiveness does not rely upon your remembering to take it at the same time everyday like the pill.
There may be some delay in becoming pregnant after you stop using the patch (similar to the pill), especially if you had irregular menstrual cycles before you used Ortho Evra®. If pregnancy is desired, it usually takes about one to three months for periods to return to the cycle you had before using the patch. It can take several months after resuming normal cycles to become pregnant.
Ortho Evra® has some unique advantages. It is convenient to use, since it is applied only once per week. The steady release of hormones also eliminates some of the problems caused by daily hormone fluctuation seen with the pills. Since it is not taken by mouth, it is not affected by other medications or by being ill.
Otherwise, since the hormones contained in it are similar, the advantages of the patch are similar to the birth control pills:
The hormones in Ortho Evra® and birth control pill offer significant risk reduction for ovarian and endometrial cancers. They may also offer some protection against osteoporosis.
Disadvantages & Side Effects
The 2 most common reasons that women stop using he Ortho Evra® patch are skin irritation from the patch itself and the patch falling off frequently.
Since the Ortho Evra® uses the same hormones as the birth control pills, the side effects are similar. Usually the more common side effects disappear after several months. These include:
If side effects persist or are severe, discuss the problem with your physician. The two of you may decide that a different form of birth control is better for you.
The Ortho Evra® does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. A condom can reduce the risk of infection.
Like the birth control pills, Ortho Evra® users have a slightly greater chance of developing certain serious problems that can be fatal in very rare cases. These include blood clots in the veins or lungs, and liver tumors. The chance of developing some of these problems are increased by: