What is an Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch?

The Ortho Evra birth control patch was a revolutionary advancement in the prevention of pregnancy. Instead of having to remember to take a pill every day, women now could simply attach a patch to their upper outer arm, thigh, buttocks, or abdomen and receive reliable protection against an unplanned pregnancy.

The patches are durable, waterproof, and will remain attached even during strenuous exercise. The patch itself is 1 ¾ inches square, and is virtually unnoticeable while worn. Ortho McNeil, the company that created the patch, currently produces devices in beige because it was found that beige holds its color longer over the week while the patch is worn. Different colors and a clear patch are currently under development.

Ortho Evra works by releasing an extended dose of two hormones called progestin and estrogen. When absorbed by the female body, these chemicals inhibit ovulation, which in turn drastically reduces the chances of fertilization. Ortho McNeil states that the patch is at least as effective as traditional birth control pills, with the added convenience of a once a week application.

Unfortunately, elevated progestin and estrogen levels can lead to dangerous deep vein blood clots, which can lead to strokes, pulmonary embolisms, and heart attacks. Many women who used the patch did not realize the potential dangers until a young woman died in 2004 due to an Ortho Evra-related incident.

If you used the Ortho Evra transdermal birth control patch you too may be at serious risk for heart attacks, stroke, or pulmonary embolisms. If you feel that your health and safety were unknowingly violated, you are not alone. Join the fight against dangerous medical products. Contact a knowledgeable, compassionate Ortho Evra attorney today.

Overview of Birth Control Patches

Birth control patches were developed to provide a more convenient and reliable birth control method than a daily pill. Missing a pill can have dire consequences on a woman's menstrual cycle and can disrupt the hormone levels necessary to prevent pregnancy, and the patch form alleviates the need for daily use. The Ortho Evra transdermal birth control patch can also be used as emergency contraception if applied within the proper time frame after unprotected sexual intercourse.

The Ortho Evra birth control patch attempted to combine reliable birth control with the convenience of weekly application. When placed on the upper outer arm, buttocks, thigh, or abdomen, the patch delivers an extended release dose of estrogen and progestin which inhibits pregnancy by preventing ovulation. After a week the patch is removed and replaced, providing a new batch of hormones to regulate the menstrual cycle.

Although he patch is allegedly as effective as traditional oral contraceptives, it has unfortunately proved to be far more dangerous. The patch increases levels of estrogen and progestin, which are well known to affect the way that blood forms into clots. Although clotting is a natural and important characteristic of the blood, when these clots form inside blood vessels they present a number of serious health risks. One of the most serious potential complications of a blood clot comes if it restricts the blood flow to the brain or the lungs. A stroke or a pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency and can cause long-term disability and even death if untreated.

Ortho Evra has been linked to a number of negative health effects, and is allegedly responsible for 17 blood clot-related deaths. If you used the Ortho Evra transdermal birth control patch you may have unwittingly exposed yourself to dangerous complications, including strokes and pulmonary embolisms. Contact an experienced attorney right away to explore the options you have in taking action against pharmaceutical companies that put their profits ahead of your safety. Don't wait - statutes of limitations can impede or terminate your case before you get the closure that you deserve.

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Birth Control History

Engaging in sexual intercourse without risking an unwanted pregnancy has been a hurdle for humans for thousands of years. Over the course of time many cultures around the world developed elaborate rituals and concoctions to prevent pregnancy, often with negligible success.

The Ancient Egyptians allegedly used a crocodile dung suppository to prevent pregnancy, women throughout Asia used a cervical cap greased with oil, and women in Europe purportedly used bee's wax as a form of a primitive Intrauterine Device. Because they were not scientifically effective, these devices gave false confidence to the couple until the obvious flaws in the systems became apparent nine months later.

Birth control continued to evolve when the first true condoms appeared in the 17th century. Men began to use the intestinal lining of certain animals not only to prevent pregnancy but also to reduce the chances of contracting syphilis, an extremely dangerous condition in the days before antibiotics. The legendary personality Casanova allegedly used to blow up condoms like a balloon and entertain guests at parties by bouncing them around the room.

Only in the 20th century did scientific understanding of reproduction finally combine with the mechanical capability to produce the first truly reliable and safe birth control methods. The rubber condom became available in the first part of the century, with the now standard latex condom making its debut in the 1930s. However, the true revolution in birth control came in the 1960s, when the first truly reliable birth control pill became available to women and creating the freedoms in sexual expression that we enjoy today.

Unfortunately many women complained about the side effects of the pill, the inconvenience of taking a daily dosage, and the general complications having artificial hormones in the body. Doctors attempted to solve at least one of these problems when they developed the Ortho Evra transdermal birth control patch. This allowed women to apply a single weekly patch and alleviated the anxiety produced from having to remember to take daily pills.

Unfortunately, because the patch delivers such a high dose of hormones, many women began to develop potentially life-threatening blood clots and other dangerous complications. As of 2005, at least 17 victims have died from conditions allegedly linked to the usage of the Ortho Evra patch.

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Methods of Birth Control

Until the 20th century, birth control methods were frequently based on traditional folk remedies that were of questionable effectiveness. The advent of the modern understanding of the reproductive cycle gave scientists and doctors the opportunity to explore alternative methods for controlling pregnancy.

Today people have many artificial birth control options. Some of the most common include:

  • Barrier methods that prevent sperm from reaching the egg:
    • Condoms (Male and Female)
    • Diaphragms
    • Cervical Cap
    • Contraceptive sponges
  • Chemical methods that use hormones to counteract natural birth cycles
    • Oral contraceptive pill
    • Ortho Evra transdermal birth control patch
    • "Morning After" pill
    • Depo Provera
    • Implanted contraceptives like Norplant
  • Intrauterine methods
    • Intrauterine Device (IUD), a simple device placed over the uterus that can prevent pregnancy for 2, 5, or 10 years
    • Intrauterine System, which combines an IUD with female hormones to further prevent pregnancy

Most of these methods range from 98-99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy. There is no 100% effective form of birth control other than abstinence.

The Ortho Evra transdermal birth control patch was considered to be quite a revolution because it provided effective birth control in a convenient and reliable system. Unfortunately it delivers such a high dose of hormones that it elevates the risk of blood clots, which have tragically claimed the lives of at least 17 women since 2004.

Don't let the opportunity for justice pass you by. Statutes of limitations restrict the amount of time you have to take action if you suffered because of Ortho Evra. Contact an experienced attorney and explore your legal options today.

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>What is an Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch? Overview, History, Methods of Birth Control page updated on 12/12/2006.