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The Evra contraceptive patch is an effective way to protect yourself against pregnancy. You can use an Evra patch instead of taking the pill.
You only need to change your Evra patch once a week, unlike the contraceptive pill which you have to take once a day. After you use Evra patches for 3 weeks, you can have a 7 day break then start applying them again.
Evra is just as effective as the combined pill because it also contains 2 types of female sex hormones:
- ethinyl estradiol (an oestrogen)
- norelgestromin (a progesterone)
9 patch(es) - £33.99
18 patch(es) - £55.99
The Evra patch is a combined hormonal contraceptive method that you can use to prevent pregnancy. It contains the hormones oestrogen and progestogen to stop you from getting pregnant.
The Evra patch is like a sticker and you put it on your skin. You absorb the hormones through your skin and then they get into your bloodstream. While you’re wearing an Evra patch, it releases around 203 micrograms of progestogen and 34 micrograms of oestrogen every day.
You use 1 Evra patch every 7 days. After 21 days, you have 7 days where you do not wear a patch. You have to repeat this 28 day cycle to stay protected from getting pregnant.
You only wear 1 Evra patch at a time. You should leave the same patch on for 7 days, then remove it and put on a new one the next day.
To use an Evra patch, you need to remove it from the sachet that it comes in and peel the film off the back without letting the sticky part touch your fingers. Then you should stick your Evra patch to a clean, dry, non hairy area of your body, such as your:
- upper outer arm or lower arm
Do not put an Evra patch on:
- your breasts
- any sore or irritated skin
- skin that has lotion, creams or make-up on it
- any area where it may be rubbed off by tight clothing, such as your waistband on your trousers
You should put your Evra patch in a different place on your body when you apply a new one. Using a different place each time will help prevent your skin from getting irritated.
You should change your patch on the same day each week, for example every Saturday. You also need to remove your old patch before you use a new one.
After 3 weeks you’ll have a patch free week where you do not wear an Evra patch. During this time you’ll have a withdrawal bleed, which is similar to your period.
After 7 days of not wearing your Evra patch, you should place a new patch on the same day of the week that you normally do. You need to do this, even if you’re still bleeding, to prevent pregnancy.
What if the patch falls off?
If your Evra patch falls off and it’s been less than 48 hours, replace it with a new one on the same day. Change your next Evra patch on the day you had originally planned and continue as normal. You’ll still be protected against pregnancy as long as you used the patch correctly for the previous 7 days.
If your Evra patch falls off for more than 48 hours, or you forget to put it on a new one after your patch free week, you should put on a new patch as soon as you remember. You should use extra contraception such as condoms for the next 7 days to stay protected against pregnancy. If it is week 3 of your patches, skip your patch free week and start a new cycle of patches. You might need emergency contraception if you had sex in the week before the patch came off. Check with your doctor if you are not sure.
The Evra patch works by releasing oestrogen and progestogen into your bloodstream through your skin.
- stop your ovaries from releasing eggs (ovulation)
- thicken your cervical mucus to stop sperm from getting through your cervix to the egg in your womb (uterus)
- thin the lining of your uterus so that a fertilised egg cannot attach and grow
All of these effects help protect you from getting pregnant.
If you use an Evra patch perfectly, it’s 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.
However, forgetting to use your Evra patch or not changing it on time can make it less effective. If you want to learn more about what to do if you forget to put on or change your patch you can read the patient information leaflet.
The Evra patch is not effective at protecting you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We recommend you use a condom when you have sex to protect yourself and your partner from STIs.
Common side effects of the Evra patch include:
- nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
- breast tenderness or pain
- mood changes
- feeling dizzy
- skin irritation
- weight gain
- vaginal yeast infections (thrush)
Uncommon side effects of the Evra patch are:
- trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- feeling more hungry than usual
- low sex drive
- vaginal dryness
- having more fat or cholesterol your blood
- being sensitive to sunlight
- blood pressure going up
- skin irritation when you take off a patch
You can find more information about side effects in the patient information leaflet that comes with your Evra patches. If you get any side effects, speak to a doctor. They might suggest you try a different type of contraceptive.
You can use an Evra patch as a contraceptive as long as your periods have started and you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients in the patches.
The Evra patch should not be used if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.
You may not be able to use an Evra patch if you:
- are breastfeeding and your baby is less than 6 weeks old
- weigh over 90kg (14 stone)
- are very overweight
- are over 35 years old and you smoke
You also may not be able to use an Evra patch if you have:
- a family history of blood clots (thrombosis)
- a condition that increases your risk of getting blood clots
- high blood pressure
- ever had a heart attack or angina pectoris (chest pains)
- had breast cancer in the past
- liver disease
- gallbladder disease
You can speak to a doctor to check if you can use an Evra patch. They’ll be able to recommend alternative contraceptives if Evra patches are not right for you.
The Evra patch can affect how well other medications work, and these interactions can also lower your protection against pregnancy.
You should speak to a doctor before you use an Evra patch if you’re currently taking medication for:
- hepatitis C, such as ritonavir
- epilepsy, such as phenytoin or lamotrigine
- high blood pressure, such as bosentan
- certain infections, such as rifampicin or griseofulvin
- low mood, such as St. John’s Wort
- suppressing your immune system, such as ciclosporin
Evra is one of many contraception options for you to choose from. All these methods are effective at preventing pregnancy when you use them perfectly.
Contraceptive pills are another way to prevent pregnancy. Birth control pills include:
- combined contraceptive pill
- phasic combined pill, that mimics your natural menstrual cycle
- progestogen-only mini pill
Other methods of birth control include:
- copper and hormonal IUD
- hormonal implant
- vaginal ring
- non-hormonal barrier methods (condoms, female condoms, contraceptive diaphragm)
You should speak to a healthcare professional to get medical advice about which contraception method is best for you. Or you can fill out a free online questionnaire with ZAVA Online Doctor and we can help you today.
Evra patch patient leaflet [September 2021] [Accessed November 2021]
NHS Contraceptive patch [July 2021] [Accessed November 2021]
Contraception choices: Patch, National Institute for Health Research [accessed Sep 2021]
Contraceptive patch, Sexwise [accessed Sep 2021]
Contraceptive pills are a reliable way of reducing your risk of getting pregnant from sex. ZAVA offers most common brands of pill, so you can order your preferred brand by visiting our contraceptive pill service page.
In stock. Prices from £33.99