Now a popular replacement for birth control pills is the combined hormonal contraceptive patch Evra. It needs to be changed once every 7 days, which allows us to talk about protection with minimal effort. The percentage of reliability of the contraceptive effect of the patch is 99.4%.
Pregnancy protection patch: how it works
The contraceptive hormonal patch delivers 20 micrograms of ethinylestradiol and 150 micrograms of norelgestromin to the body every day, due to which ovulation is blocked. Due to the fact that the ovary does not release eggs, the onset of pregnancy becomes impossible. In addition, due to changes in the structure of the cervical mucus, it becomes difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. This explains the high reliability of the patch.
It should be borne in mind that this type of contraception, like a patch, does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. This method of contraception is only suitable for women who have regular sex with one partner, as well as the absence of infections in both of them.
How to use a contraceptive patch?
It is recommended to start using the patch on the first day of the menstrual cycle – that is, on the first day of menstruation. Additional methods of contraception in this case will no longer be needed.
Alternatively, you can choose any day of the week: for example, the first Sunday after the start of menstruation. And in this case, the first 7 days it is necessary to use barrier or other contraceptives.
You can stick the patch in a convenient area for you: on the shoulder blade, buttock or above the chest. Read the instructions carefully, there are illustrations included. Remember: in order for the patch to hold and be effective, it is important to glue it exclusively on clean, dry skin, on which oils, creams or lotions and other products must not be applied beforehand. The area chosen for gluing must be free of irritation and damage.
The next time you apply the patch, either select a different area or move it slightly away from where it was last applied. The scheme for replacing the patch is simple:
- Day 1 (for example, Wednesday) – attach the patch;
- Day 8 (Wednesday) – replacement;
- Day 15 (Wednesday) – replacement;
- Day 22 (Wednesday) – remove the patch for a week break.
Each time, the actions will fall on the same day of the week, so you won’t get confused. Remember, the Evra patch is a hormonal drug, and it should not be used without consulting a gynecologist.
Contraceptive patch: benefits
The patch has a number of advantages over hormonal pills, although in general the principle of their action is the same. The main advantages of Evra patch:
- you need to change the patch only once a week, it's easier than taking pills every day at the same time;
- even if you forgot to replace the patch, the contraceptive effect continues to work within 48 hours after the due date;
- the patch is securely attached to the body and does not peel off either in the sun, or during water procedures, or during sports and saunas.
In addition, the use of the patch reduces menstrual pain and removes the effect of PMS, like other hormonal drugs.
Protection patch: contraindications and side effects
Like all hormonal drugs, Evra patch is contraindicated in the following diseases:
- experienced a stroke or myocardial infarction;
- cancer (established or suspected);
- period of pregnancy;
- lactation period;
- active smoking (more than 15 cigarettes per day).
The side effects of the patch are the same as those of hormonal pills: nausea, headaches, pain in the mammary glands, depression, bleeding from the genital tract of an unspecified origin, mood swings, irregular uterine bleeding, decreased or no libido, and some others.