Valley Teen Clinic

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Birth Control

NuvaRing (vaginal ring)

What is the NuvaRing and how does it work?

NuvaRing (also known as the Ring) is a flexible vaginal ring that contains progesterone and estrogen, two kinds of female hormones. It is used to prevent pregnancy. When the Ring is inserted into the vagina it releases a continuous low dose of hormones into the body; this prevents ovulation (the ovary does not release an egg to be fertilized, it sort of tricks the body into thinking it is pregnant (when it is NOT).

The Ring is inserted into the vagina and left inside the vagina for three weeks. After three weeks the Ring is removed for one week. During the Ring-free week, you get your period.

What are my chances of not getting pregnant by using the NuvaRing?

If the Ring is used perfectly every month, the chances of getting pregnant are about 1 to 2% a year. This means that, for every 100 women who use the Ring for a year, about 1 or 2 will become pregnant. Your chance of getting pregnant increases if the Ring is not used exactly as directioned.

Are there any side effects from using the NuvaRing?

Common side effects, which usually go away after using the Ring for three months, may include: headache, nausea, change in appetite, breast tenderness or enlargement, changes in period, vaginal discharge, vaginal infections or irritation, weight changes and depression.

What are the pros of using the NuvaRing?

  • Protects against pregnancy for one month.
  • No pill to take daily.
  • One size fits all, which means that the Ring NOT require a “fitting” by a medical professional like there is with the diaphram and the cervical cap.
  • Does not require the use of spermicide.
  • Ability to become pregnant returns quickly when you stop using it.

What are the cons of using the NuvaRing?

  • May increase vaginal discharge.
  • May cause vaginal irritation or infection.
  • Cannot use a diaphragm or cervical cap for a backup method of birth control.