What is Nuvaring?
Nuvaring is a flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina on a monthly basis to provide contraception. The ring continuously releases small amounts of etonogestrel and ethinylestradiol. These are synthetic versions of the naturally occurring female sex hormones oestrogen and progestogen. When combined, they protect against pregnancy. Nuvaring is only available on prescription.
What is Nuvaring used for?
If used correctly, Nuvaring is a highly reliable form of contraception. The daily dose of hormones released from the Nuvaring works mainly by tricking your body into thinking that ovulation has already happened. This prevents an egg from ripening and being released from the ovaries each month. The hormones also increase the thickness of the natural mucus at the neck of the womb, which makes it more difficult for sperm to cross from the vagina into the womb and reach an egg. They also change the quality of the womb lining, making it less likely that a fertilised egg can implant there. Nuvaring only has to be inserted once a month and is a convenient method of contraception, for example for women who do not tolerate or cannot use birth control pills.
How to use Nuvaring
Nuvaring is very easy to use. Follow the instructions provided with your Nuvarings carefully. One Nuvaring should be inserted into the vagina and left in place for three weeks. After three weeks the ring should be removed and you then have a one week ring-free break. During this ring-free week the levels of the hormones in your blood drop, which results in a withdrawal bleed that is similar to your normal period. A new ring should be inserted after seven days and left in place for another three weeks. You can have sex or use tampons while the ring is in your vagina. Read the package leaflet before use, also for information on how to use Nuvaring to delay your menstrual period.
Dosage and administration
To achieve maximum contraceptive effectiveness, Nuvaring must be used as follows:
- Adult women: Insert one ring into the vagina every four weeks. Remove after three weeks for a one-week break, during which a withdrawal bleed usually occurs. Insert a new ring one week after the last ring was removed.
Use in girls under 18 years of age only on advice of a doctor.
Nuvaring may cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Possible side effects include:
- Menstrual spotting or breakthrough bleeding;
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach ache, nausea, diarrhoea;
- Breast tenderness or soreness;
- Headache or migraine.
Most side effects will disappear with continued use. Consult a doctor if the side effects are severe or persistent. Read the package leaflet before use. The package leaflet also provides information on rare yet severe side effects such as thrombosis.
When not to use Nuvaring
Nuvaring is not suitable for everyone. Do not use this contraceptive ring if:
- You are allergic to etonogestrel, ethinylestradiol or any other ingredient released by this ring;
- You have a blood clot in a vein (thrombosis) or the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or a history or risk of this;
- You have a blood disorder that increases the risk of blood clots in the veins or suffer from migraine with aura;
- You have or have had a serious liver condition or have ever had a heart attack or stroke;
- You have active breast cancer or history of breast cancer or cancer of the sexual organs;
- You have vaginal bleeding of unknown cause.
For more information about contraindications and warnings, please consult the package leaflet. Be sure to tell the doctor what other medicines you are taking when you order to avoid potential interaction problems.
Do not use Nuvaring if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Nuvaring does not affect your ability to drive.
Nuvaring does not interact with alcohol.