HOW does the Patch work? The Patch (Ortho Evra®) requires a doctor's examination and a prescription. Like the Ring, it releases synthetic estrogen and progestin (hormones) into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. These hormones stop ovaries from releasing eggs.
HOW is the Patch USED? The Patch is a thin plastic adhesive patch that you place on your body (butt, stomach, etc.). You need to replace a patch once a week for three weeks. Then go a week without one, and then start the three week cycle again.
Benefits to using the Patch: The Patch is easy to use. It doesn't interrupt sex. (That means if you are about to have sex you don't have to stop and use this form of birth control before you can continue.) Unlike the Pill, you don't have to remember to use it every day, just once a week. It's also an extremely effective method of birth control.
Concerns connected to using the Patch: Certain drugs (like protease inhibitors and anti-fungal drugs used to fight yeast infections) can make the Patch less effective.
The down side to using this method: Possible side effects that usually clear up after two or three months of use include bleeding between periods, weight gain/loss, sore breasts, nausea, mood swings. Other possible side effects may include skin reaction at the site of application. The Patch works best when it is changed on the same day of the week for three weeks in a row. Pregnancy can happen if an error is made in using the Patch – especially if it becomes loose or falls off for more than 24 hours or if the same patch is left on the skin for more than one week. If either of these things happens, follow the directions in your package insert, and call your clinician.
Effectiveness: "More effective" than the Pill. Over one year, for every 100 women using the Pill, 8 will become pregnant with typical use. Fewer than 1 in 100 will become pregnant using the Patch with perfect use.
Costs for the Patch: The cost of the first visit and/or examination, if needed, ranges from about $35-$125. At some family planning clinics, the cost may depend on your income. The Patch costs between $30 and $35 a month. The cost is usually lower at a clinic, and is covered by Medicaid.
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last updated January 30, 2008
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