Contraceptive Patch (Ortho Evra)
What is it?
The patch is a once a week method of birth control that uses similar hormones to a pill. It is a prescription.
How does it work?
The Patch prevents pregnancy by delivering continuous levels of hormones (progestin and estrogen) into the bloodstream through the skin. The Patch works the same way that pills do: by preventing ovulation. This means that the ovary does not release an egg to be fertilized. It also thickens the cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus, and it changes the endometrium, which is the mucus membrane that lines the uterus, to reduce the chance of implantation.
The Patch is worn for one week at a time and is changed on the same day of the week 3 times a month. The fourth week is patch free.
When do I start it?
If you start the patch from the first day of your period until the 5th day, you have immediate pregnancy protection. If it is later than the 5th day after the start of your period, use condoms for 7 days for contraception.
Where do I put it?
Choose a place on your body to put the Patch: your upper outer arm, abdomen, buttock or upper torso in a place where it won't be rubbed by tight clothing; for example, do not place the Patch at the waistband of your clothing. Do not put the Patch on your breasts, on cut or irritated skin, or in the same location as the previous Patch.
When do I change it?
The Patch works for seven days (one week). Apply a new patch on the same day each week (your Patch Change Day) for three weeks in a row. Make sure you have removed your old patch before applying the new patch.
During week 4, DO NOT wear a patch. Make sure you removed your old patch. (Your period should begin during this week.) Following week 4, repeat the cycle of three weekly applications followed by a patch-free week.