What is Ortho Evra?
Ortho Evra is a birth control patch which delivers the hormones estrogen and progesterone through the skin. In order to use the Ortho Evra one should apply the patch on the skin once every week for three weeks and avoid using the patch on the fourth week to allow menstrual bleeding to occur. Ortho evra acts in the same way as the combined oral contraceptive pills except that it is applied to the skin (transdermal administration) rather than taking a pill (oral administration).
It is able to prevent conception by releasing the hormones estrogen and progesterone in the bloodstream of the woman using the patch and it subsequently prevents ovulation. The progesterone released by the patch also leads to thickening of the cervical mucosa which prevents the sperm from penetration in the cervical canal and fertilization of the ovum. Ortho Evra is the only variety of contraceptive patch approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. A woman needs a prescription to buy the contraceptive patch. One of the important disadvantages with the use of the contraceptive patch is that it does not prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Advantages Of Ortho Evra
Ortho Evra is recommended for women who want to avoid pregnancy. There are certain advantages of contraceptive patches that may make it the preferred form of birth control.
- It eliminates the need of using other contraception such as condoms which disrupts the sexual act.
- It also does not need partner compliance.
- The contraceptive patch does not require daily attention as with oral contraceptive pills.
- The patch allows quick removal and almost immediate return to normal fertility.
Who Should Not Use It?
Ortho Evra is not suitable for every woman as there are certain contraindications namely:
- Women older than 35 years of age.
- Cigarette smokers.
- History of chest pain, heart attack, stroke or blood clot disorders (peripheral vascular disease).
- History of breast, uterine or liver cancer.
- Chronic liver disease.
- Complications associated with chronic diabetes involving different organs namely the kidney, eyes, nerves or blood vessels.
- Vaginal bleeding due to unknown causes.
- History of jaundice following the use of hormonal contraceptives.
- Known to be allergic to any components of Ortho Evra.
The health care provider should also be informed if the woman has recently gave birth or is breastfeeding, had a past history of miscarriage, is currently suffer from fibrocystic diseases of breast, epilepsy, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, depression, irregular menstrual periods, skin diseases like psoriasis or a family history breast cancer.
How To Use Ortho Evra
Before starting up on Ortho Evra, a woman must consult with a doctor and get a prescription if the use of the patch is not contraindicated. The doctor records a detailed medical, surgical and drug history and does a physical examination. Before application of Ortho Evra the doctor provides an appropriate date for application of the patch.
If the person is applying the patch for the first time one should wait until the first day of the period. In this case the next patch should be applied again on the first day of next period. There is no need for backup contraception. The patch can be applied on buttocks, upper arm, lower abdomen and upper part of the body. The area of application should to be kept clean and dry. The application of lotion, cream or make-up to this area should be avoided.
The patch should be checked regularly to ensure that it is place and it should be removed after three weeks. After a gap of one week a new patch is to be applied again.