NuvaRing (ethinyl estradiol & etonogestrel
) is a relatively unique female birth control device belonging to a group of drugs called 3rd-generation contraceptives. Like combination birth control pills it contains two hormones, an estrogen and a progestin, which work together to prevent ovulation.
Unlike birth control pills, NuvaRing is not ingested. It's a flexible, transparent ring about 2 inches in diameter, which is inserted vaginally once a month. Once in the vagina small but steady amounts of the hormones are released, inhibiting pregnancy.
It is safe to have intercourse, use tampons, swim, and engage in other normal activities while using NuvaRing. NuvaRing is as Effective as The Pill:
The mechanism by which NuvaRing works is the same as combined oral contraceptives, more commonly called birth control pills, or just the pill. That is, over 99% effective -- fewer than 1 in 100 women get pregnant if used properly. It also provides the other benefits many women experience while taking the pill:
- Fewer or less severe acne outbreaks
- Less severe menstrual cramps
- Lighter and more regular periods
- Milder PMS symptoms, including fewer headaches
- Fewer cysts or serious infections of ovaries or uterus
- Less risk of developing osteoporosis
- Reduced risk of non-cancerous breast tumors
Many women find NuvaRing much more convenient than remembering to take a pill everyday. However, its greatest convenience may also be its greatest drawback -- other women find it much more difficult to remember to insert a new ring once a month.
Also like the pill, effects are completely reversible once treatment stops.NuvaRing is Easy to Use:
Each NuvaRing comes individually wrapped in a foil pouch and is good for one month of protection. Use is simple and straightforward:
- Wash and dry hands.
- Remove a NuvaRing from the foil pouch.
- Press the sides of the ring together.
- Insert the ring into the vagina.
- Exact positioning is not important, as long as it feels comfortable.
- Remove the ring on the same day it was inserted after 3 weeks have passed.
- Dispose of it safely. Do not flush NuvaRing.
- Menstrual usually starts 2 or 3 days after removal.
- After 1 week, insert a new ring, even if menstruating.
NuvaRing will not be very effective at preventing pregnancy for the first 7 days of using the very first ring, or if the ring is removed for more than 3 consecutive hours during the 3-week cycle. Other methods of contraception should be utilized during these times.
If the ring does accidentally come out, there are several options:
Warnings & Adverse Reactions:
- If it was out for less than 3 hours, rinse the ring in lukewarm water and reinsert.
- If out for more than three hours or an unknown amount of time, either start a new ring immediately and finish the 3-week cycle, or;
- Wait for the next period and start a new 3-week cycle after the period ends.
Side effects associated with NuvaRing are virtually identical to those associated with combine oral contraceptives. Women with certain health conditions should not use this form of birth control:
- Have had a heart attack or stroke
- Have a blood clotting disorder or history of blood clots
- Severe high blood pressure
- Certain hormone-responsive cancers
- Kidney, eye, or blood vessel disorders
- Abnormal liver function
- Need for extended bed rest
- Heavy smoker
NuvaRing may cause harm to unborn or nursing babies; it should not be used by pregnant or breast-feeding mothers.
The most common side effects from using the ring are generally mild and stop completely as the body adjusts. If reactions are severe or persist, speak with a doctor:
- Vaginal irritation, infection, or secretions
- Headaches, including migraines
- Weight gain
- Nausea or stomach upset
Most women use NuvaRing with no problems. About 90% of women who try the ring report they prefer it over other forms of hormonal birth control.