Student Health Services

The Patch (Ortho-Evra)

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How Does it Work?

The patch prevents pregnancy the same way as the pill. The ovary does not release and egg to be fertilized, and the cervical mucus also thickens, making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus.  Progesterin and estrogen are released through the skin into the bloodstream.

How Well Does it Work?

The patch has a 99% success rate if used properly.  Women wear a single patch for seven days before replacing it, giving them the convenience of not having to remember to take a pill each day.  The patch offers no protection against STD’s.

What Are the Advantages?

  • More regular periods
  • Convenient and easy to remember
  • Patch can be applied to upper arm, abdomen, upper torso, or buttocks.  Should not be used on areas where cream, lotion, or make-up will be used.  This can affect the adhesiveness.

Who Should Not Use the Patch?

  • Women with a history of heart attack, stroke, or diagnosed with heart disease
  • Women susceptible to blot clots in the legs, lungs, or eyes
  • Women who regularly experience chest pain (angina pectoris)
  • Women with a know or suspected pregnancy
  • Diabetics
  • Women with a benign or cancerous liver tumor
  • Women with headaches due to neurological symptoms
  • Women who smoke

What Are Some Common Side Effects?

  • Menstrual/Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain (patients gained an average of 4 pounds their first year)
  • Breast tenderness
  • Skin sensitivity at application site

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