|6mg / 600mcg||9 patches||£27.00|
Evra is a contraceptive patch. It is a great alternative to birth control pills, as you only have to change your patch every 7 days. Many women find Evra to be a convenient and effective method of contraception.
Evra works in a similar way to the combined pill. It contains norelgestromin and ethinylestradiol which are synthetic versions of the hormones progesterone and oestrogen. These hormones are released into the bloodstream to prevent ovulation from occurring each month, overriding your natural menstrual cycle. They also work by thinning the womb lining and thickening the cervical mucus to make it difficult for sperm to enter.
Evra is more than 99% effective when it's used correctly. Factors that can influence how effective it is include forgetting to change the patch on time or starting a new one too late after your 7-day break. It has the advantage over the pill of not being affected by vomiting and diarrhoea and you don't need to remember to take it every day. In real life, some women (on average around 9%) will still fall pregnant when using Evra.
If you apply the patch within 24 hours of getting your period then it will start to work straight away. You can apply it after the first day of your period but you won't be fully protected against pregnancy for the first 7 days. In this case, you will need to use a condom or diaphragm during this time period.
While Evra is used primarily for preventing pregnancy, it also has the advantage of making your periods lighter, regular and less painful, and may help alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Evra may also provide relief for women with endometriosis.
Each contraceptive patch lasts for one week. After each week, you remove the patch and apply a new one until you have used three patches. Every 4th week, you will have a week off from the patch and usually experience a bleed.
You can use Evra for period delay in the same way as the combined pill by ‘skipping’ the patch-free week. Instead of having a patch-free week at the end of the third week, remove the third patch and apply a new one right away. This will then be the first week of the patch cycle so you should continue to use the patch for a 3-week period, before taking a patch-free week during which you will likely experience a bleed.
Always ensure that you remove and replace each patch on time and replace it with a new one if applicable. Leaving a patch on too long may put you at risk of pregnancy as each patch only lasts for one week.
One patch worn for 7 days, for three weeks, then a 7 day break
|Type of Medicine||
Combined contraceptive patch
Prevents ovulation, thickens mucus to make it harder for sperm to reach eggs, and prevents egg attachment to the uterus
Norelgestromin and ethinylestradiol
From £3 per patch
Can include mood changes, breast tenderness, dizziness, abdominal pain, thrush, nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhoea, skin irritation, rash
Evra is a birth control patch containing synthetic versions of naturally occurring hormones in our body, which is why severe allergic reactions to this form of contraception is rare. As this form of birth control comes as a patch and is left on for a week at a time, it can cause slight irritation to the skin it is applied to and its surrounding area. It is, however, still important to look out for signs of a severe allergic reaction if you are using the patch for the first time like dizziness, facial swelling, difficulty breathing, and a rash. Please get medical attention right away if you develop any of these symptoms.
The active ingredients contained in Evra are norelgestromin and ethinylestradiol.
The other ingredients are: backing layer: low-density pigmented polyethylene outer layer, polyester inner layer; middle layer: polyisobutylene/polybutene adhesive, crospovidone, non-woven polyester fabric, lauryl lactate; third layer: polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film, polydimethylsiloxane coating.
The best time to start Evra is on the first day of your period as you will then be protected from pregnancy right away. You can apply your first patch later in your cycle but if you do, you'll need to use an additional barrier method of contraception for the first 7 days of using Evra.
Each Evra patch is worn for 7 days. When you reach day 8, remove it and apply another one right away. You should do this for 3 weeks in a row before having a 7-day break. This is when you will likely have a withdrawal bleed - similar to your period. After the 7 day break, ensure you apply a new patch on time.
Used patches should be discarded with household waste and not flushed down the toilet.
The patch can be applied to an area of skin that is clean, dry and relatively hair free. Avoid areas with sore, irritated or sensitive skin or where tight clothing would rub against it. Do not apply the patch to your breasts.
The patch is unlikely to peel off or get dislodged as it's very sticky. You can have a bath or shower as usual and this won't cause it to come off. It also shouldn't be affected by swimming or using a sauna or hot tub. If it does fall off, the action you should take will depend on how long the path has been off for.
If it has been less than 48 hours:
If it has been more than 48 hours:
Each patch lasts for 7 days. Leaving it on too long will have the same effect as it falling off or forgetting to replace it on time. If you have forgotten to remove the patch, the action you should take next depends on where you are in your cycle and how long the patch has been left on for.
Week one or two - 48 hours or less:
Week one or two - more than 48 hours:
After you remove the patch at the end of the third week, you should apply a new one 7 days later. If you forget, what you should do next will depend on how many days late you are in applying the patch.
Each Evra patch contains 6mg of norelgestromin and 600mg of ethinylestradiol which is released steadily over 7 days.
Common side effects include:
Uncommon side effects may include:
Rare side effects may include:
Do not use Evra if:
Seek advice from a doctor before using Evra if any of the following apply to you:
Certain medications can interfere with the way Evra works, causing it to be less effective:
You should check with your doctor before starting Evra for the first time to check it is suitable for you.
Evra works in a similar way to the pill to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It is also associated with many of the same side effects and risks. The Evra patch has the advantage of not being affected by vomiting and diarrhoea like the pill and you do not have to worry about remembering to take it every day. Unscheduled or breakthrough bleeding appears to be slightly more common in women using the patch than women using the combined pill. Some side effects such as breast tenderness appear to be slightly more common in patch-users than pill-users.
While Evra is a brand of the contraceptive patch, NuvaRing is a brand of the contraceptive vaginal ring. It is a soft, plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina. Both contraceptives release oestrogen and a progestogen into the body in order to prevent pregnancy. NuvaRing lasts for 21 days once it's been inserted, so you do not need to think about it for 3 weeks until it's time to remove it. It does have a risk of falling out and may not be comfortable for women who don't want to touch their vagina. However, the patch can cause skin irritation and can also fall off occasionally. Which method is best for you will depend on what you are comfortable with.
Other forms of combined hormonal contraceptives include the pill and vaginal ring. However, combined contraceptives are not suitable for all women, as they increase the risk of blood clots. While this is rare, if you have certain medical conditions or medical history, combined hormonal contraceptives will not be safe for you to use.
The mini pill is a progestogen-only alternative which is safe for most women to use.
Barrier methods of contraception include condoms, diaphragm or caps and the contraceptive sponge. These are non-hormonal and produce few side effects.
Long-term reversible methods of contraception are the IUD (copper coil), IUS (hormonal coil), implant and injection. The injection lasts for 12 weeks, the implant for 3 years, the hormonal coil for 3–5 years and the copper coil for 5–10 years depending on the type.
The patch looks similar to an adhesive plaster and is beige in colour. You can apply it to any area of your body which is dry and hair-free but you should not apply it to your breasts. Evra is only available in one colour, so it may not blend in as well with darker skin tones.
The patch can cause skin irritation but this can be minimised by applying it to a different area of the body each time. For example, if you placed it on your lower back one week, you may want to apply it to the stomach or bum the next week. Ensure you don't apply it to areas which tight clothing rub against, like the waistband of your jeans. This can increase the risk of skin irritation and may cause the patch to fall off.
The patch is just as effective as the combined pill, being over 99% effective when it is used correctly. This involves applying and changing it on time and replacing it if it falls off. The patch is also affected by the same medications as the pill but because the hormones are not passing through your digestive system, vomiting will not cause Evra to be less effective.
Evra stops ovulation from occurring so you won't have a natural period while you are using Evra. During your patch-free week, most users will have a withdrawal bleed similar to a period. Rarely, when using the patch you won’t bleed at all in your patch-free week. If this happens more than 2 months in a row then you may want to visit your GP to ensure you are not pregnant.
Each Evra patch is 20cm and is square-shaped. It looks similar to an adhesive plaster.
As long as you have used the patch correctly for 21 days, you will be protected against pregnancy during the patch-free week. You should ensure that you apply your new patch on time so that your protection will not be affected during your next patch cycle.
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