How to Use the Evra Patch

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The contraceptive Evrapatch is relatively easy to use; more so than the contraceptive pill because you only need to think about it once a week instead of every day.  To apply the patch you need to remove it carefully from it plastic pouch and peel back half of the plastic top. Then you need to stick it to an area of your body that is relatively free of hair, clean and dry. Do not stick it to an area that has any type of wound upon it. Also, do not cover the patch or stick to an area that has any type of lotion or make up, as it will be less effective. The best place to stick the patch is the lower abdomen, the buttocks, the arm or the back. It is important that you do not stick it to your breasts. You must also choose a place where it won’t be knocked off. Once you have chosen the area, then you stick it down as you would a plaster, smoothing out any wrinkles and ensuring that it is in place. You can then leave the patch until you need to put a new one on which is once a week. Dispose of the packaging by folding it in half and throwing it in the bin – not down the toilet. It is best to fold it in half because this stops any hormones that may be left in the packet from entering the water system. It is important that you do not change the patch by cutting it or altering it in any form, as this will reduce its effectiveness.

When do I start the patch?

If you are on the first day of your period when you have got your prescription for the contraceptive patch then you can start the patch straight away and you will be protected from pregnancy. If you are on any other day then you can start the patch but it is important that you use other contraception such as condoms for at least 7 days. This allows your body to adapt to the new levels of hormones entering your body, as chances are you have already started to mature an egg in your womb.

When do I change the patch?

For one months cycle, you will need 3 patches as you have 3 weeks where you will wear the patch and one week where you will not, to allow your body a withdrawal bleed. When you put on your first patch, this counts as day one of your cycle. You can then wear this patch until exactly one week later when you will need to change the patch for a new one. This happens for three weeks until you reach the week where you do not use a new patch. You will then experience a withdrawal bleed. These range depending on the women but will resemble a period but not as heavy as you are used to. It is important that after your patch free week you put on a new patch regardless of whether the bleeding has stopped, as this will start your new cycle.  It is best to stick the patch to a different area of skin to avoid any irritation.

Can I skip a withdrawal bleed?

You can skip a withdrawal bleed if you wish. It is harmless but not recommended that you do so every month. All you do is apply a new patch when you start your patch free week thereby starting a new cycle. You may experience some bleeding but this is entirely normal.

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