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J Adolesc Health. 2004 May;34(5):395-401.

An evaluation of the use of the transdermal contraceptive patch in adolescents.

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Division of Adolescent Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94118, USA.



To evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of using the new transdermal contraceptive patch in adolescents.


A 3-month longitudinal trial using the Ortho Evra transdermal contraceptive patch in 50 adolescent girls. All healthy girls aged 15-18 years were invited to participate from two San Francisco Bay Area teen clinics. Participants were followed after 1 month and 3 months of treatment. Data were collected on patch detachments, perceived advantages and disadvantages, side effects, and compliance. Data were analyzed using Student's t-test (SPSS).


Forty participants (80%) completed 1 month of treatment and 31 (62%) completed all 3 months of the study. There were no pregnancies during treatment. At the 3-month follow-up, 87.1% of participants reported perfect compliance. Ease of use, the fact that it does not require daily attention, and the ease of concealment were among the main reported advantages. Roughly 77% of participants who completed the study were planning to continue using the patch. The 35.5% rate of complete or partial detachment of at least one patch was considerably higher than reported in previous studies of adults. As in adults, the most commonly reported complaints were application site reactions and breast discomfort.


This evaluation found an overall positive impression of the new transdermal contraceptive patch, with good rates of short-term compliance and few side effects among adolescents. However, the high degree of detachment unique to this sample of adolescents is concerning and requires further evaluation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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