nuva ring, contraception treatment

What is NuvaRing?

NuvaRing is a small, soft, plastic contraceptive ring that you place inside your vagina to prevent pregnancy. NuvaRing works by administering a controlled amount of two female sex hormones—etonogestrel and ethinylestradiol.  

This low-dose hormonal contraceptive ring gradually releases these hormones into the bloodstream. As a combined hormonal contraceptive, NuvaRing mirrors the mechanism of action of the combined contraceptive pill (COC). However, instead of daily pill consumption, the ring is in place continuously for three weeks. By releasing a combination of female sex hormones, NuvaRing inhibits the release of an egg cell from the ovaries, thereby preventing conception when an egg cell is not released.  

What is NuvaRing used for?

NuvaRing is primarily used as a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. The ring steadily releases the hormones oestrogen and progestogen into your bloodstream, which prevents the ovaries releasing an egg each month.  

It also thickens the cervical mucus, which makes it more difficult for sperm to move through the cervix and thins the lining of the womb so a fertilised egg is less likely to implant itself.  

Who can and cannot use medicines containing NuvaRing?

Before starting NuvaRing, familiarise yourself with the potential risks and conditions that may make NuvaRing unsuitable for you. These include a history of blood clots, certain blood disorders, heart-related issues, migraines with aura, liver diseases, and certain cancers. 

NuvaRing does not protect against HIV or other sexually transmitted infection. 

NuvaRing may not be suitable for you if you have any of the following: 

  • History of blood clots: If you've had a blood clot or certain cardiovascular conditions, NuvaRing might not be recommended due to an increased risk of clot formation. 

  • Liver disease: Conditions affecting the liver may impact the metabolism of hormones in NuvaRing, making it less effective or potentially causing complications. 

  • Breast cancer: If you have or have had breast cancer, hormonal contraceptives may not be the best option, as they can affect hormone-sensitive tissues. 

  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure: NuvaRing may not be suitable if you have uncontrolled hypertension, as hormonal contraceptives can potentially raise blood pressure. 

  • Migraines with aura: Women who experience migraines with aura may have an increased risk of stroke when using hormonal contraceptives. 

  • Diabetes with complications: If you have diabetes with complications, it's essential to discuss with your healthcare provider whether NuvaRing is a safe option for you. 

NuvaRing should not be used during pregnancy. If pregnancy occurs, prompt removal of the ring and consultation with a doctor is recommended. While not typically recommended during breastfeeding, seeking advice from a healthcare professional is advisable if considering NuvaRing use in such circumstances. 

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How effective is NuvaRing as a contraceptive?

If used correctly, the vaginal ring is more than 99% effective. Unlike the pill, the ring still works if you have sickness (vomiting) or diarrhoea.  

One ring provides contraception for a month, so you don't have to think about it every day.  

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Frequently asked questions