Prescription Options

What Should You Know About the Ortho Evra Patch?

October 7, 2018

Your physician may have recommended the Ortho Evra patch or you can have read about this alternative for birth control. How can the birth control patch work and also what are some of the benefits and disadvantages relative to other methods of contraception? What are the potential side effects?


The Ortho Evra Patch is the first weekly form of hormonal birth control.

It’s a discreet and reversible type of prescription contraception that comes in a 4×4-cm thin, sleek, beige, plastic patch that sticks into a lady’s skin.

How Can It Be Used?

The Ortho Evra Patch is composed of patches which you put on your skin for 7 days for three consecutive weeks every month. The fourth week you don’t need to place on a patch, and during that time you will often get your time.

This is similar to many kinds of combination birth control pills, with the exception that you take pills for 21 days (and maybe a placebo for the last 7 days) rather than applying a patch per week for those 21 days.

The patch can be worn on one of four Distinct Regions of the body including your:

  • Upper outer arm
  • Abdomen
  • Buttocks
  • Upper chest (back or front, excluding your breasts)

It isn’t important which of those locations you use, however a woman needs to wear the patch on another region of her body each week.

You can pick the location to set your patch based on your own wardrobe choices and what feels best to you.

How Does This Work?

The Ortho Evra patch is intended to constantly release a steady stream of synthetic estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) and a sort of progestin (norelgestromin) throughout the skin and into the blood to protect against pregnancy for 2 days (which is why a woman needs to replace it after each week).

The Ortho Evra patch contains the very same types of hormones within the pill.

  • Benefits

    There are lots of benefits of using the Ortho Evra patch relative to other kinds of birth control. These include:

    • The patch is simple, convenient, and secure
    • With the patch, so you don’t have to take a daily pill, so it’s just one less thing to Consider daily
    • The patch is usually comfortable and discreet
    • It’s reversible and the ability to become pregnant returns quickly after stopping use
    • You can do whatever you normally do, and know that the patch is correct there, doing its job
    • The Ortho Evra Patch doesn’t interfere with having sex and can allow for more spontaneity
    • Many who use the patch report having regular, lighter, and shorter spans
    • Ortho Evra readily adheres to the skin and does not stop activities such as bathing, showering, swimming, and exercising
    • You can use your patches to bypass your period

    Non-Contraceptive Benefits

    We know there are several non-contraceptive advantages of combination birth control pills, and this likely holds true for the Ortho Evra patch as well. Some of the additional advantages may include protection against:

    • Ovarian cysts
    • Ovarian cancer
    • Hirsutism (excess facial hair)
    • Ectopic pregnancy
    • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder and depression
    • Uterine cancer
    • Noncancerous breast cysts
    • Acne
    • Menstrual migraines
    • Anemia (iron deficiency that results from significant periods)
    • Osteoporosis


    Compared with other forms of birth control, the patch may result in:

    • Changes in sexual desire
    • Worsening of depression for People Who have a history of depression
    • Skin reactions at the site of patch program

    Side Effects

    There is a low incidence of side effects for those women who decide to use the Ortho Evra patch, but it’s important to be familiar with these before starting treatment. Fortunately, a number of these side effects will improve or disappear once you’re using the patch for 2 to three months. Possible side effects include:

    • Disposition changes
    • Headaches
    • Bleeding between periods
    • Breast tenderness
    • Nausea (sometimes with vomiting)


    While lots of the pros, cons, and unwanted effects of the Ortho Evra patch are similar to traditional birth control pills, there are a few important differences too. The hormones which enter the bloodstream via patches are removed from the body differently than those from pills taken by mouth.

    Girls who use the birth control patch are vulnerable to about 60 percent more estrogen than those who take a typical birth control pill. This increased estrogen exposure may increase the risk of side effects for individuals using this patch.

    Related to this higher estrogen level, the risk of blood clots in the legs (and the subsequent risk of pulmonary embolism that may occur when clots break off and travel to the lungs) could be higher with the patch compared to a normal birth control pill containing 35 mcg of estrogen. The chance of blood clots is all roughly twice as high on the patch as using a typical birth control pill, but the general danger of blood clots is comparatively low with either method.

    There’s also a slightly higher chance of breast feeding on the patch relative to that on the birth control pill.

    Who Would Use It?

    The Ortho Evra patch is a secure method of birth control for many women, even though there are instances when a different form of birth control is favored.

    The patch Isn’t recommended for women that:

    • Are over Age 35 and smoke cigarettes
    • Have experienced a heart attack or stroke
    • Have uncontrolled high blood pressure
    • Have had an abnormal growth or cancer of the breast
    • Have controlled high blood pressure and smoke cigarettes (find out more about birth control pills/patches and Higher blood pressure)
    • Have had blood clots (venous embolism) or a pulmonary embolism
    • Have liver disease or liver growths
    • Have had serious heart valve problems
    • Have certain inherited blood clotting disorders
    • May be pregnant

    How to Obtain

    The Ortho Evra patch is available only by prescription and requires a medical evaluation and blood pressure reading from a physician. Many doctors also recommend an current Pap smear before prescribing hormonal contraception.


    Costs change, but the typical cost for the patch is between $30 and $40 a month (plus the cost of owning a medical examination so as to obtain the prescription.) In many communities, Medicaid covers the cost for this contraceptive method. A woman should check with her personal medical insurance policy as policy for birth control fluctuates.


    The Ortho Evra Patch is 92 percent to 99.7 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. This means that with perfect use, less than 1 out of every 100 women who use the patch will become pregnant. With typical usage, 8 out of every 100 women using the patch will end up pregnant.

    Certain medications can reduce the effectiveness of the birth control pills or stains. This includes drugs such as commonly used antibiotics therefore that it’s important to talk to your physician about any medications you are taking as well as any new drugs which you might be prescribed after beginning the patch.

    The patch may be less effective for overweight women (people who weigh more than 198 lbs.)

    The effectiveness of the Ortho Evra Patch can also be reduced due to user error. A girl may be at risk for pregnancy if:

    • The patch falls off and is not replaced within 24 hours
    • A girl forgets to alter the patch each week
    • When the patch is not kept at room temperature
    • If the patch isn’t kept keep sealed until it’s implemented
    • The woman attempts to re install a patch that’s no longer tacky, has been stuck to itself or another surface, has other material stuck to it, or has become loose and dropped off before.

    Imagine should Your Ortho Evra Patch Falls Off?

    In research studies, less than two percent of spots came off and less than 3% of patches loosened. If the patch has been away for less than 24 hours, then you can usually reattach it (as long as it is still sticky.) When it’s been over 24 hours, you’ll need to use a fresh patch. You should also use a back up form of birth control for the rest of the month.

    Should you forget to change your patch, instructions will vary depending on which patch you are using (1, 2, or 3,) however it is wise to employ a back up form of birth control for the whole month.

    Learn more about the guidelines on just what to do in case your patch falls off or if you forget to change it.

    Using the Patch to Quit Your Stage

    Among the advantages of birth control pills is that they can sometimes be used to stop your period allowing you the freedom to skip your time during an upcoming holiday, for a particular event or even hiking in grizzly bear country. Find out more about how to skip your time about the Ortho Evra patch.

    What About Showering or Swimming?

    You should be able to swim or shower without difficulties when using the Ortho Evra patch. If you patch does fall off, nonetheless, be sure to reapply a patch within one day. While this happens, it may be preferable to utilize a brand new patch (make certain to have a replacement from your pharmacist) instead of re-using the patch which dropped off, because it may no longer follow your skin.

    Bottom Line

    The Ortho Evra patch supplies still another kind of hormonal contraception in which you only need to consider your birth control once weekly. There are lots of benefits as well as a few disadvantages of using hormonal contraception.

    Your estrogen levels may be higher when using the patch than with a normal birth control pill. Since the risk of blood clots increases with estrogen dose, it is essential to know about the potential risk.

    Like birth control pills, the Ortho Evra patch provides no protection against sexually transmitted diseases. If you might be at risk for STDs, it is necessary to always use condoms together with your birth control patches.