A doctor will review your order and write you a prescription, if appropriate. This prescription is then forwarded to a pharmacy. The pharmacy will have your medicine delivered to you within one to three working days. Read more about this process here.
Evra patches are contraceptive patches. They contain synthetic derivatives of the naturally occuring female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. Ethinylestradiol (previously spelt ethinyloestradiol in the UK) is a synthetic version of oestrogen and norelgestromin is a synthetic form of progesterone. These hormones are similar to the hormones that are used in combined oral contraceptives (the pill) and work in the same way. Hormonal contraceptives like Evra work by over-riding the normal menstrual cycle. In a woman's normal menstrual cycle, levels of the sex hormones change throughout each month. The hormones cause an egg to be released from the ovaries (ovulation) and prepare the lining of the womb for a possible pregnancy. At the end of each cycle, if the egg has not been fertilised the levels of the hormones fall, causing the womb lining to be shed as a monthly period. The hormones that are absorbed into your bloodstream from the patch work mainly by tricking your body into thinking that ovulation has already happened. This prevents an egg from ripening and being released from the ovaries each month. The hormones also increase the thickness of the natural mucus at the neck of the womb, which makes it more difficult for sperm to cross from the vagina into the womb and reach an egg. They also change the quality of the womb lining (endometrium), making it less likely that a fertilised egg can implant there. Evra patches are designed to be used for three weeks out of every four. One patch should be applied to the skin once a week, on the same day each week (known as the "Change Day"), for three weeks. During this time the hormones are absorbed from the patch through the skin and into the bloodstream, at a continuous rate. In the fourth week of the monthly cycle you don't wear a patch. During your week off, the levels of the hormones in your blood drop, which results in a withdrawal bleed that is similar to your normal period. A new contraceptive cycle begins on the next day following your patch-free week (ie same day as your "Change Day"). A new patch should be applied even if you have had no bleeding in the patch-free week, or if bleeding has not yet stopped. You will still be protected against pregnancy in your patch-free week, provided you used the previous three patches correctly, you start the next cycle of patches on time.