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An Evra patch is a hormonal contraceptive patch that you apply to your skin and leave in place for 7 days before replacing it. The patch steadily releases a small dose of synthetic hormones, allowing you to absorb them naturally through your skin. Evra patches are small enough to wear discreetly and have a sticky adhesive that should keep them in place at all times, even if you are swimming or taking strenuous exercise.
Each patch contains two active hormones ethinylestradiol (an oestrogen) and norelgestromin (progesterone). These work to prevent pregnancy in the same way as a combined pill and may have similar benefits such as easing difficult menstruation or improving acne and oily skin.
Who can use the Evra patch?
You need a prescription from a doctor to obtain an Evra patch. If you meet all the health requirements for combined hormonal contraception, your doctor will usually consider prescribing Evra. If you are oestrogen intolerant, weigh over 90 kilos (14 stone), are over 35 years old and smoke, or are at risk of thrombosis, Evra may not be suitable for you. You can possibly still use hormonal contraception and may be offered an oestrogen-free mini pill as a safer alternative.
You can renew your Evra prescription online at DoktorABC or request to switch from another hormonal contraceptive. Complete a short medical questionnaire to get started. Our duty GP will immediately review your health profile to check whether you have any medical problems that prevent you from using Evra. If there are no health issues, your order will be processed at once. Checkout price includes your prescription, Evra patches and next day delivery by UPS courier.
How do I use the Evra patch?
Evra is a simple and convenient form of hormonal contraception that requires minimal fuss to use effectively. If you are using hormone patches the first time, wait until either the first day of your period or the first Sunday following that day. Apply a patch to a convenient part of your body (avoiding sensitive, broken, or irritated skin). As long as your skin is dry and clean where the patch is applied, it should remain in place in all circumstances.
After 7 days, remove the patch and immediately apply a new one to a different patch of skin. Do the same after another 7 days. When you have worn 3 patches for a total of 21 days, take a 7-day break without a patch and then begin the process again.
- Day 1 (first patch)
Change Patch Days
- Day 7
- Day 14
- Day 21 (remove but don’t replace)
New Patch Day
- Day 28
When does the patch start to work?
If you apply the first patch on day 1 of your period, you will be fully protected against pregnancy after 5 days. If you apply the patch on the first Sunday after your period, you will be fully protected after 7 days. You should use another form of contraception in the meantime. As you continue using the patch you are of course continuously protected.
How effective is the Evra patch?
If you use Evra patches exactly as instructed by our GP, they are one of the most effective forms of contraception. With a pearl index of 0.72 - 0.9, if used correctly, it is considered at least as safe as most conventional combined pills. The pearl index is a formula used to measure the success rate of a contraceptive over the course of one year. The lower the number, the safer the product.
If you want to avoid pregnancy, you need to remember your three “change patch days” and remember the “new patch day” after your 7-day break. Many women use an alarm on their mobiles to remind them.
It’s also important to read the manufacturer’s leaflet and keep it with your supply of new patches. If your patch falls off (unlikely) or you forget to change it, you will need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly to prevent pregnancy.
What are the advantages of the Evra patch?
Evra patches are designed for simplicity. Unlike combined pills that use similar hormones, Evra doesn’t require daily attention. Once you’ve applied a patch (which takes just seconds) you can forget about it for a whole week. The patch stays unobtrusively in place and gently releases a standard dosage of hormones. If you have a busy life or an unpredictable schedule, Evra may be a better option than a daily pill, as long as you can remember your “change patch days” and “new patch day” (and continue to follow our GP’s instructions).
Are there risks or side effects?
The Evra patch is a prescription medicine that changes the hormone balance in your body for as long as you use it. As with oral contraceptives using similar hormones, there is some risk of side effects. 9 out of 10 women who use Evra correctly do not experience any problems.
Possible common side effects of Evra may include:
- Breast tenderness
- Mood changes
You may (rarely) experience some form of skin irritation or a local reaction where you wear the patch. If this persists, refer to the manufacturer’s leaflet for advice or speak to a medical professional.
You can login to your DoktorABC account for a free online chat with your GP if you have questions about contraception.
Advantages and disadvantages of the patch
The advantages and disadvantages of the Evra patch are often just a case of individual preference. What’s good for you may not be convenient for another woman. Women who like to use the Evra patch usually choose it for any of the following reasons:
- High level of protection against pregnancy when used correctly
- 3 levels of protection against pregnancy
- Prevents ovulationStimulates production of cervical mucus to block sperm
- Reduces the chances of a fertilised egg adhering to the womb
- No need for a daily routine as with the pill
- The contraceptive effect remains if you are sick or have diarrhoea
- The combined hormones may lighten your period and reduce pains and PMS.
- Evra may offer some protection against fibroids, ovarian cysts, and certain cancers
Some disadvantages of the patch are that not every woman can use it safely, people may see the patch causing embarrassment, and that it may occasionally cause side effects or skin irritation. You also have to be sufficiently organised to remember to change it weekly and incorporate the 7-day break into your personal routine.