NuvaRing (often referred to as the Vaginal Ring) is a hormonal birth control device that is worn for three weeks, then removed for one week to allow for menstruation to occur. A new ring is then inserted deep into the vagina until the next menstruation cycle is about to begin.
NuvaRing at a glance
- 99% effective
- Inserted into vagina for 21 days
- Removed 7 days for menses
- May cause vaginal discharge
- May be felt by some patients
Frequently Asked Questions
How effective is NuvaRing?
Fewer than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they use NuvaRing exactly as directed, while nearly 10 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they don’t always use the vaginal ring as directed. However, there are some medications and supplements that can negatively affect NuvaRing, including:
- Rifampin (an antibiotic)
- Griseofulvin (an antifungal)
- Certain HIV medications
- Certain anti-seizure medications
- St. John’s Wort
Is NuvaRing safe?
Most women should experience few or no problems when using this vaginal ring; however, all forms of medication do potentially contain some risks or side effects (most of which are exasperated by certain circumstances). Talk openly with your healthcare provider about your conditions, including the following scenarios that would prevent you from being a good candidate for the vaginal ring:
- You’re pregnant
- You suffer from severe migraines
- You’ve had breast or liver cancer
- You have uncontrolled high blood pressure
- You are a smoker and are older than 35
- You are subject to prolonged periods of bed rest
- You suffer from certain blood-clotting disorders
What are the benefits of NuvaRing?
Because NuvaRing works much like the pill, many women report experiencing similar benefits, such as the protection against:
- Bone thinning
- Breast/ovary cysts
- Ectopic pregnancies
- Heavy/irregular periods
Unlike IUDs, including Mirena and Copper IUDs, doctors do not have to insert NuvaRing. Every three weeks, a woman removes the ring on her own. Following her menstruation, she inserts a new ring. This has the advantages of convenience and privacy, but has the disadvantage of an increase likelihood of error.
How can you ensure you're using NuvaRing correctly?
To ensure you’re using NuvaRing correctly:
- Store unused rings at room temperature, and out of direct sunlight.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before each removal and insertion.
- Keep in mind that the exact positioning of the ring does not matter.
- Do not remove the ring during sexual intercourse.
- Reinsert your new ring on the same day of the week that the previous one was inserted in your last cycle.