Table Of Contents
- What is a Birth Control Patch?
- How Does the Patch Prevent Pregnancy?
- What Are the Benefits of the Patch?
- What Are the Disadvantages of the Patch?
- How Effective is the Patch?
- How Safe is the Patch?
- How to Use the Patch?
- Tips for Using the Birth Control Patch
What is a Birth Control Patch?
Birth Control Patch is commonly known as Ortho Evra (or Evra patch). The beige patch sticks onto the skin to help prevent pregnancy. The patch is applied to the skin once a week for three weeks straight. The forth week is considered to be a patch less week.
Xulane patch replaced the Ortho Evra (manufacture) due business decision circumstances. If you are currently used the Ortho Evra patch, please consultant a doctor or nurse to switch you to the Xulane patch.
Another effective method similar to the patch is the ring or birth control pill which releases the same hormones as the patch.
How Does the Contraceptive Patch Prevent Pregnancy?
It releases hormones just like any other birth control methods. These hormones are chemicals that control different parts of the body.
What Are the Benefits Of the Patch?
The benefits of the patch may help protect against:
- Irregular/heavy periods
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Iron deficiency
- Bone thinning
- Menstrual craps
- Breasts growths (not cancer)
- Cysts located in breasts and ovaries
- Infection found in the uterus, tubes and ovaries
- Ovarian and endometrial cancers
- Ectopic pregnancy
What Are the Disadvantages of the Patch?
Considering the patch has the same side effects as the Birth Control Pill, it may carry the same disadvantages.
Some women may experience some undesirable side effects from using the patch but most women adjust to the patch within a few months of using it.
The most common side effects include:
- vomiting and nausea
- tender breasts
- bleeding between periods
Additionally it’s possible that the patch may cause a woman’s sexual desire to decrease over time because the patch affects a woman’s hormones.
The skin may also become irritated or have a reaction to where the patch is placed on the skin.
Once a woman stops using the patch it can take one or two months for the period cycle to get back to normal.
More serious side effects have warning signs. If you experience any of these issues below its important you contact a health care provider immediately:
- trouble breathing
- sore legs
- very bad headaches that come on suddenly
- headaches that are unusual, happen more often, or are worse than normal headaches
- yellowing of eyes or skin
- serious pain in chest or abdomen
- no period after having a period regularly
- seeing bright, flashing zigzag lines (usually before a bad headache)
- new lump on the breast
How Effective is Patch?
It works best when the patch is applied to the skin correctly for the three week duration. This is because it allows correct release of hormones into the body.
- Out of 100 women, less than 1 women will get pregnant if the patch is used as directed
- Out of 100 women, about 9 women will get pregnant if they don’t always use the patch as directed.
How Safe is Patch?
Most women can use the Birth Control Patch safety but there are some risks associated with the patch. More serious side effects of the patch are rare and might be caused with certain conditions. Contact a doctor or nurse for more information. You should not be using the patch for prolonged bed rest or if the following:
- Smokers (35+ years old)
- Have had:
- Serious heart valve problems
- Heart attack, angina or stroke
- Liver or breast cancer
- Vein inflammation or blood clots
- Blood-clotting disorders (inherited)
- Migraine headaches with aura
- Live disease (serious)
- High blood pressure (uncontrolled)
- Diabetes (severe case)
How do I use the Patch?
The patch can be applied to back, upper outer arm, stomach or buttocks for three weeks straight in a row (don’t forget, one patch-less week). It’s a simple as that, but make sure the patch doesn’t fall off and don’t forget to change it after the seven days.
The first day that you apply the patch is considered your “patch day.” This day determines when you will be changing your patch. For further information, look at the instructions in the box of the patches. The cost of one most supply of patches is $0-80.
During the patch-less week, you will generally have your period. If you are still bleeding when your new patch day comes around, this is considered normal, just apply a new patch or pregnancy can occur.
Tips for Using the Birth Control Patch
If the patch comes off and is easily sticks back on, stick the patch back onto your body and if it isn’t sticking anymore, do the following:
- Less than 48 hours:
- Apply a new patch and continue your patch until the patch needs to be changed on patch day
- More than 48 hours:
- Apply a new patch for one week straight and the date you applied the new patch will become the new patch day
- Use a backup method to avoid pregnancy such as condom/female condom, sponge or diaphragm (for 7 days)
If you apply the patch late, follow the steps below:
- Less than 48 hours:
- Apple a new patch and continue your patch until patch day
- More than 48 hours:
- Apply a new patch and use this date as the new patch day
- Use the backup method for the next 7 days
If you forget to take your patch off during week four, just remember to take it off and apply a new patch when the new week starts (on patch day).