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Evra Patch

Evra Patch

What is it?

The Evra Patch is a hormonal birth control that has two types of hormones in it, estrogen and progesterone. When used perfectly it is 99% effective although with typical use it can be as low as 92% effective. The patch which is similar to a large square band-aid that can be placed on the buttocks, upper outer arms, lower abdomen, or upper torso (not on breasts) and slowly releases hormones through the skin on a daily basis. Apply patch to clean dry skin that is free of irritation or redness. Take 10 seconds to rub it on skin without touching the sticky side first. Skin should be free from lotions, oils, cosmetics, and powders. A new patch is applied once a week for three weeks followed by a patch free week. Rotate the location of the patch to avoid skin irritation. Once you start using the patch it takes 7 days for it to help prevent pregnancy unless you start on the first day of your menstrual period, in this case it works right away.  Use condoms during this first week to prevent pregnancy. If the patch comes off early or you miss applying the new patch on time follow instructions in the package or call us at the Youth Clinic (250)-383-3552 for instructions. You may need to use emergency contraception and condoms for a period of time to prevent pregnancy.

How does it work?

The patch works by preventing the ovary from releasing an egg, thickening the cervical mucus making it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg, and changing the lining of the uterus making implantation difficult.


• Effective and reversible

• Does not interfere with intercourse

• No daily contraceptive routine (weekly)

• Regulates menstrual cycle and reduces menstrual cramps

• Decreases acne and hirsutism

• Reduces the risks of endometrial and ovarian cancers

• Decreases premenstrual symptoms

• May be used continuously to miss periods


• May cause irregular bleeding or spotting

• Patch may detach from skin (less than 2%)

• Possible skin irritation at the application site

• May cause breast tenderness, nausea, or headaches, vaginal dryness, or decreased sex drive

• May increase the risk of blood clots, particularly in women who have certain blood disorders,  a family history of blood clots or migraines with focal neurological symptoms

• May not be suitable for women who weigh more than 198 lbs.

• Should not be used by women over the age of 35 who smoke

• Does not protect against STIs

• Effectiveness may be reduced by other medications:  Rifampin, Rifabutin, and Griseofulvin, some anti convulsants (Barbituates; Oxcarbazepine; Primidone; Phenytoin; Carbamazepine; Toprimate; Lamotrigine and Vigabatin), certain antiretroviral therapies, protease inhibitors, lamotrigine, and St. John’s Wort. Theophylline, tricyclic antidepressants, Diazepam or Lithium may need dosage adjustments

• Call your doctor or go to the nearest medical treatment centre if you have any of the following symptoms of blood clots while taking birth control pills:

  • A – Abdominal pain, severe
  • C – Chest pain (severe), cough, or shortness of breath
  • H – Headache (severe) or increased frequency or intensity of headache, dizziness, weakness, or numbness
  • E – Eye problems: vision loss or blurring, speech problems
  • S – Severe leg pain in calf or thigh

Combined Hormonal Contraceptives: Decision Support Tools (Feb 2014). College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia. Publication 691.

Transdermal Patch (Evra). Sexualit and U and SOGC. Retrieved October 2015.

Island Sexual health Society. Retrieved October 2015.

Contraceptive Use Among Canadian Women of Reproductive Age: Results of a National Survey (2009).


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Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island