Norelgestromin is a female hormonal birth control that is typically combined with another hormone, ethinyl estradiol. Norelgestromin works by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg and interfering with the process of fertilization. Women taking this form of birth control should be aware that while it can help prevent pregnancy, it cannot protect the patient against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
This hormonal birth control is available in the form of a patch, which is applied to the skin. It releases the medication transdermally, or through the skin. The norelgestromin patch should only be applied to skin that is clean and dry, and never to skin that is damaged or abraded. It is recommended that the patient apply the patch to the stomach, the upper back, the buttocks, or the upper arm.
When applying the norelgestromin patch, the patient should press it firmly to the skin for at least 10 seconds and ensure that it adheres properly. Each patch is worn for exactly one week, with the first patch typically applied on the first day of the patient's menstrual period. After one week, the patient should remove the patch and apply another on the same day. This is repeated for a total of three weeks and three patches. Patients must wait exactly seven days before applying the patch again for the next three weeks.
Some side effects may occur with the use of norelgestromin patches, which should be reported to the physician if they become severe. Patients may experience nausea, vomiting, or stomach cramps. Vaginal discharge, breast pain or tenderness, and changes in the patient's menstrual cycle can also occur. Other women have reported changes in appetite and weight, dizziness, and problems with contact lenses.
More serious side effects require a doctor's urgent care. Patients should go to the emergency room if they experience a lump in the breast, chest pain, or pain that spreads to the shoulder or arm. Numbness or weakness that comes on suddenly, upper stomach pain, and jaundice may also occur. Difficulty speaking, balance, and vision have also been reported, along with symptoms of depression.
Before using norelgestromin to prevent pregnancy, patients must disclose their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements. This birth control method is not intended for use by women who are pregnant. It may interact with grapefruit and grapefruit products, as well as acetaminophen, blood thinners, and vitamin C. Norelgestromin may be contraindicated for use by those with circulation problems, a heart valve disorder, or abnormal vaginal bleeding.