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Contraceptive Patch


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Photograph of Contraceptive Patch

What is it? 

Evra is a sticky patch measuring 5cm x 5cm (rather like a nicotine patch), which delivers oestrogen and progestogen into your body through your skin. Each patch lasts for seven days. One patch at a time should be worn, every seven days for a period of three weeks. After three weeks, the patch should be removed for a seven day break before starting again with a new patch. It is still safe to have sex during the seven-day break as long as all the previous three patches have been used properly and on time.

In the UK the patch's brand name is Evra.

How does it work? 

The patch should be applied to clean, dry skin (but not on the breasts) where it's unlikely to be rubbed off. It does not need to be removed for any reason,during the seven days it is worn.

It contains the same hormones as the combined pill, and it works in the same way. This means that the patch:


Purple petal    prevents ovulation (the release of an egg),    


Purple petal   thickens cervical mucus, which makes it harder for sperm to travel through the cervix, and


Purple petal   thins the womb lining, which makes it unlikely that an egg will implant itself there.      

How effective is it?

When used correctly, the patch is more than 99% effective. This means that less than one woman in 100 who use the patch will get pregnant in one year.

Added benefits?


Purple petal    You don't need to think about it every day, and it's still effective if you vomit or have diarrhoea.    


Purple petal   Because the patch prevents ovulation, you don't have a period. Instead, you have a monthly 'withdrawal bleed', which can be lighter and shorter than a period. So if you have heavy or painful periods, the patch can help.


Purple petal   The patch can protect against cancers of the ovary, womb and colon.

What else should I know?


Purple petal    It can increase blood pressure, and some women get temporary side effects, such as headaches. The patch has to be changed every week.    


Purple petal   You can wear the patch in the bath, in the swimming pool and while playing sports.


Purple petal   Some women develop a blood clot when using the patch, but this is rare.      


Purple petal   The patch is not suitable for women over the age of 35 and who smoke or women who are overweight with a BMI of 35 or more. Your doctor or nurse can advise you.  

By using condoms as well as the patch, you'll help to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Contraception Patches are freely available from Contraception Clinics. Use the Service Finder to find a clinic that’s most convenient for you. Or call our Central Booking line 01772 401140 for more information on this method or to book an appointment.







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