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- Highly effective contraceptive method
- Practical and convenient
- Can reduce skin problems and menstrual symptoms
- Genuine medication
- All drugs sourced in the UK
There is one brand of combined contraceptive patch available in the UK, the Evra patch. The patch is stuck onto the skin and delivers two hormones to offer continuous contraceptive cover if you wish to avoid a pregnancy.
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About Evra Patch
- Evra is similar to the combined contraceptive pill, but the hormones are released from the patch into the body via the skin, rather than being ingested
- Evra changes hormone levels in the body to prevent ovulation (an egg being released)
- It also thins the lining of the womb and makes it more difficult for sperm to get through the cervix, both of which help to lower the risk of pregnancy
- It is similarly effective to the oral contraceptive pill, preventing up to 99% of pregnancies
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Evra Patch Work?
Each Evra patch contains oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones mimic the natural hormones produced by your body at different times in your menstrual cycle.
The patch is applied to the skin of the lower abdomen, buttocks, thigh or upper arm. The hormones are then absorbed through the skin to enter the bloodstream. Just like the oral contraceptive pill, the patch has three mechanisms of action:
- The hormones work in combination to prevent an egg being released from the ovary each month
- Cervical mucus is thickened, making it more difficult for sperm to swim into the uterus
- The lining of the uterus remains thin, so a fertilised egg is unlikely to be able to implant.
These three changes help to prevent an unwanted pregnancy from occurring.
How Do I use Evra Patch?
Evra needs to be removed and changed every week. After three weeks (three patches), you have a patch-free break for one week. During the patch-free week you are likely to have a period.
Your first Evra patch should be applied to your skin on the first day of your period. You wear this patch for 7 days (this is week 1 of the Evra cycle).
On day 8, remove the patch and apply a new one immediately. This marks the start of week 2.
Wear this patch for 7 days, and then on day 15 remove it and apply a new one straight away. This marks the start of week 3.
Wear this patch for 8 days, then remove it on day 22.
Do not wear a patch between days 22 and 28. This is week 4 and is the time when you will likely have a bleed just like your period.
During days 22 and 28 you are still protected from getting pregnant, as long as you apply the next patch on the new day 1 (the day after day 28 of the first cycle). This is the start of your next 4 week cycle.
If you forget to change your patch, or accidentally remove a patch too soon, you may no longer have contraceptive cover. This is also true if the patch falls off, or you forget to put a new patch on at the end of week 4. Speak to a medical professional to check whether you should use a barrier form of contraception until Evra starts working again.
Dosage of Evra Patch
The Evra patch comes in one strength of 6mg/600mcg. These values refer to the concentration of progesterone and oestrogen contained within one patch.
Are there any Side Effects?
Like most medications, some women can experience side effects from the contraceptive patch. These tend to settle down within the first few months, but you may wish to discuss any symptoms with a health care professional if they are bothersome.
- Skin irritation at the site of the patch
- Breast tenderness
- Slight weight gain
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Changes to your mood
- Bleeding or spotting between periods.
If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Evra Patch Warnings
Just like the combined oral contraceptive pill, Evra is not suitable for all women. Seek advice if you have ever had a blood clot, if you smoke, or if you are aged over 35.
Evra is often not advised for women who:
- Weigh more than 90kg
- Have liver or gallbladder disease
- Have high blood pressure or heart problems
- Have diabetes
- Experience migraines.
In a small number of women, Evra can increase the risk of a blood clot in the leg or the lungs. If you experience a severe headache, chest or leg pains, leg swelling, breathlessness, coughing up blood, visual changes, weakness, or problems with sight or speech you must see a doctor straight away.
Women who use Evra have a small increased risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime, and so Evra is not advised for anyone with a personal or family history of breast cancer.
During the Consultation with Eumeds, you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire to check that Evra is suitable for you. Once prescribed, you can order Evra online for home delivery to take control of your contraceptive requirements.