Advantages & Disadvantages of the Evra Patch

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There are a number of benefits to using the contraceptive patch and its number one benefit is that it is over 99% effective if you use it correctly. This is the same level as the contraceptive pill and it is more effective than some other methods of contraception such as spermicides. Other benefits include:

  • You only have to remember to change the patch once a week – This is a major benefit for many women as if you take the contraceptive pill, then you have to remember to do so every day and it is extremely easy to forget. With the patch, it is a once a week change.
  • It is visual – the patch itself actually serves as a reminder for many women as they can physically see the contraception and remember to change it.
  • It doesn’t interrupt sex
  • In some women, it has a beneficial affect on acne.  
  • It is easy to use
  • It can have an effect on your period – it can make them lighter and less painful as well as regularizing them. This is a useful benefit for women with irregular periods as it gives you some peace of mind that you are not pregnant.
  • Premenstrual symptoms are also reduced in some women.
  • If you vomit or experience diarrhoea then it has no effect on the effectiveness of the patch as the contraception is not taken orally but directly into the blood stream.
  • May reduce the risk of pelvic inflammation- one of the mechanisms by which the patch works creates a thicker mucous lining.  This gives you more protection against bacteria. However, it will not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Some research has shown that it can reduce the risk of ovarian cysts

What are the disadvantages of the Evra patch?

Although the contraceptive patch is beneficial in many ways, there are some disadvantages to the patch. These include the following:

  • The biggest disadvantage is that you are not protected from any STIs. The only way to fully protect yourself is abstinence from sex or the next best solution is to always wear a condom.
  • It is visual- although a useful reminder for some women, the fact that you can see the patch is off putting. For some women, they do not want a visible form of contraception and opt for the pill instead. This disadvantage can be overcome by placing the patch in an area that is not usually seen.
  • Rarely the patch can become unstuck -This can cause some issues especially if you do not realize that the patch has fallen off for you will not be protected against pregnancy.
  • Spotting/ irregular bleeding- sometimes you can experience bleeding when you are not on your patch free week. This can sometimes happen during the first few cycles of your patch and it is usually not an issue. If you are worried about the amount of spotting or length of time of your irregular bleed than it is best to consult a doctor.
  • Some medicines can stop the patch from working properly. Therefore it is very important that you let your doctor know if you are on any other medication when you are given a prescription.
  • The patch can have a number of side effects that include irritation of the skin, nausea and headaches.

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