If any of you ladies use Orth-Evra (the patch), I may have some bad news for you. A US advocacy group has filed a petition urging the FDA to pull the patch from the market. Why? Studies have found that using the patch can increase a woman's chances of dangerous blood clots. These clots can trigger life-threatening heart attacks or strokes, especially if you are a smoker. Of course the risk of blood clots is common with all hormonal birth control, but clots are twice as likely to occur in women who are using the patch. This type of birth control can expose a woman to 60 percent more estrogen than birth control pills, which is pretty scary.
In its defense, the FDA feels that the risk of developing a clot is low — for every 10,000 women who use hormonal birth control for one year, three to five of them will develop a blood clot. Also, Ortho Women’s Health & Urology, the Johnson & Johnson division that makes the patch, believes that there are risks and benefits to using the patch, just like there are with other types of hormonal birth control. But it seems the risk is higher with the patch.
This makes me a little wary; how about you? If you use Ortho-Evra or are thinking about using it, talk to your gynecologist and get his or her advice. There may be a better birth control option out there for you.