NuvaRing is a flexible vaginal ring used as a form of contraception to prevent pregnancy. It is a small, plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina and left in place for three weeks, during which time it releases a continuous low dose of hormones (etonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol) that work to prevent ovulation. These hormones work together to prevent ovulation and thicken cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach and fertilize an egg.
Etonogestrel is a type of progestin, while ethinyl estradiol is a type of estrogen. The combination of these hormones in the NuvaRing has been found to be highly effective at preventing pregnancy when used properly. Etonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol are the two hormones contained in the NuvaRing vaginal ring, which is a hormonal method of birth control. NuvaRing is a convenient and effective method of birth control for many women, but it may not be suitable for everyone.
Uses and Dosage
To insert NuvaRing, wash your hands first and then squeeze the ring between your thumb and forefinger. Gently insert it into your vagina and position it so that it is comfortable. At the end of the three weeks, the ring is removed for a one-week break, during which time a withdrawal bleed is expected. After the week is over, a new ring is inserted to start the process again. To remove NuvaRing, simply hook your finger around the ring and gently pull it out.
The recommended dosage of Etonogestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol is one vaginal ring (NuvaRing) inserted into the vagina for 3 weeks (21 days), followed by a 1-week (7 day) ring-free interval, during which a woman will usually experience her menstrual period. This process is then repeated with a new ring inserted at the end of the 1-week ring-free interval. The vaginal ring releases a low dose of hormones, 120 micrograms of etonogestrel and 15 micrograms of ethinyl estradiol, per day over the 21-day period.
Common Side Effects of NuvaRing (Etonogestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol):
- Breast tenderness
- Vaginal discomfort or irritation
- Weight changes
Serious Side Effects of NuvaRing (Etonogestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol):
- Chest pain
- Dark urine
- Elevated blood pressure
- Lumps in the breast
- Mental or mood changes
- Painful urination
- Rapid breathing
- Severe abdominal pain
- Severe headache
- Signs of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) such as: sudden high fever, severe dizziness, fainting, unusual body pain, or sunburn-like rash
- Trouble speaking
- Unusual vaginal bleeding
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Yellowish skin
Form and strength
NuvaRing (Etonogestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol) is available in the following forms and strength:
NuvaRing: Vaginal Ring
- 120/15 mcg
- If you are a smoker over the age of 35, it is not recommended to use NuvaRing. Smoking can increase the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects from combination hormonal contraceptives (CHCs), which can potentially be fatal. This risk becomes greater with age and the amount of cigarettes smoked.
- NuvaRing carries risks of serious side effects such as blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. For women with conditions that increase the risk of blood clots. NuvaRing’s progestin type may increase the risk of blood clots compared to other progestins in some low-dose birth control pills.
- NuvaRing does not protect against HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection (AIDS) or any other sexually transmitted infections. For users to also use extra protection to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections.
- NuvaRing is contraindicated for women with uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes with kidney/eye/nerve/blood vessel damage, certain types of severe migraine headaches, liver disease or tumors, taking certain Hepatitis C drugs, unexplained vaginal bleeding, history of breast cancer, cancer sensitive to female hormones, pregnancy, or allergy to NuvaRing’s ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is NuvaRing an effective form of birth control?
Yes, NuvaRing is one of the most effective birth control methods available. When used properly, it has a 99% success rate at preventing pregnancy.
Can I still get pregnant while using NuvaRing?
While no birth control method is 100% effective, when used properly NuvaRing has a remarkably high success rate at preventing pregnancy. If you have concerns about getting pregnant while using NuvaRing, speak with your healthcare provider.
What should I do if NuvaRing falls out?
If NuvaRing falls out, you should rinse it with cold or lukewarm water and re-insert it as soon as possible. If it falls out during intercourse, use a backup method of birth control such as a condom.
Are there any medications that should not be used with NuvaRing?
There are some medications that can increase the risk of side effects or reduce the effectiveness of NuvaRing. Disclose all medications and supplements that you take to your healthcare provider before starting NuvaRing.