OrthoEvra (Birth Control Patch)


How the patch works

The patch works in the same way as the birth control pill. It prevents ovulation, so there is no egg to meet the sperm, therefore, pregnancy cannot occur. But, unlike the pill, the patch transfers hormones across the skin and directly into the bloodstream. The patch is very effective in preventing pregnancy. If used correctly, it is 99% effective

Getting started on the Patch

  • Sunday Start - Start your first patch on the first Sunday after the first day of your period
  • Quick Start - Begin your patch on the same day of your office visit. We will first do a pregnancy test in our office as part of our protocol. Your next period will be delayed until you finish the active patches.

How to apply the patch

  1. The patches can be applied your shoulder, your arm, your lower abdomen, and your buttock
  2. You want to  change the location of the patch by switching sides of your body each week (i.e. left arm one week, right arm the next, etc.)
  3. You will get three patches in each box. You will wear each patch for one week, and then be patch free for a week. This will be the time you will get your period


Side Effects

These are usually temporary and will go away in a few weeks or months:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Headache
  • Skin irritation
  • Bloating


Signs of Complications

For most women using the patch, it is very safe. In some women it can cause serious illness, however, this is extremely rare. The most serious problem that may arise is a heart attack, stroke or blood clot. We will not prescribe the patch to women who are over 35 and smoke. The following are signs that require you to call the office. We call them the ACHES:

  • A- abdominal pain (severe)
  • C- chest pain (severe), shortness of breath
  • H- headaches (severe and persistent)
  • E- eye disturbances (blurred vision, loss of vision)
  • S- severe leg or calf pain