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What is NuvaRing?

NuvaRing is a type of hormonal birth control device. It is a small, clear and flexible plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina to prevent pregnancy by releasing hormones into your body. The ring stays in place for 3 weeks and then is removed to allow menstruation to occur.  After menstruating one week, a new ring is inserted.

The hormones in the NuvaRing prevent pregnancy in the following way:

  • Suppress ovulation, stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg
  • Make the mucus in the cervix thicker so that sperm can't get into the uterus to reach an egg
  • Make the uterus lining or endometrium thinner to prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb, also known as implantation

Inserting and Removing the NuvaRing

To insert a NuvaRing, choose a position that is most suitable for you such as squatting, standing with one leg up or lying down. Next, hold the NuvaRing between your thumb and index finger and press together the opposite sides of the ring so it folds. Insert the folded ring into your vagina and gently push it deep inside. You may also use the applicator to help insert the ring. If you experience any kind of discomfort try pushing the ring deeper. Removing the ring during sex is not required but if you prefer it can be removed for up to three hours and then reinserted. The ring should be kept in place for three weeks after insertion and then can be removed for one week.

To remove the NuvaRing, hook your index finger through the ring and gently pull it out by grasping the ring between your middle and index finger. To insert a new ring, you must wait one week to allow for menstruation.

Check your ring frequently to make sure it is in place. If it breaks you must replace it.

Advantages of the NuvaRing

Advantages include:

  • Does not interrupt sex
  • Does not cause weight gain
  • Convenient and easy to use
  • No preparation is required to remove it
  • Can become pregnant immediately after removal
  • Since a smaller amount of hormones are released, it has fewer side effects than most other types of contraception

Disadvantages of the NuvaRing

As with any procedure, the NuvaRing is associated with certain disadvantages which include:

  • Bleeding or spotting
  • Infection or irritation of the vagina
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Depression
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Tenderness of the breasts
  • Abnormal vaginal discharge

Other serious disadvantages include an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, gallbladder disease, liver cancer, blood-clotting problems, and toxic shock syndrome.

Allen OB/GYN

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