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(Noo-vuh Ring)

The NuvaRing is a small clear plastic ring about 2 inches in diameter. The ring is inserted into a womans vagina where it stays for three weeks, during this time it releases a low dose of hormones into her body, these hormones are what prevents a pregnancy. If the ring is used correctly and consistently it is equally as effective as taking birth control pills but the ring doesnt require the woman to remember to take a pill everyday.

Watch this video about the ring to learn more about how they work and what to expect.

Follow these links for more information:

How Does The NuvaRing Work?

The NuvaRing contains two types of hormones, estrogen and progestin, that are synthetic versions of the hormones that a womans body produces naturally. When the Ring is inserted into the vagina and comes in contact with the vaginal walls the hormones start being absorbed into the blood stream. The hormones in NuvaRing work together to prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation, and by changing the cervical mucus which can help block sperm from entering the uterus.

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How Effective Is The NuvaRing For Preventing Pregnancy?

When used consistently and correctly the NuvaRing can be 99% effective. This means that when used perfectly about 1 out of 100 women using the ring will become pregnant. However people dont always use the ring 100% correctly, 100% of the time. If not used correctly the effectiveness of NuvaRing is greatly decreased.

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How Do I Use It?

Start your NuvaRing regimen on a day that is convenient and easy for you to remember. You can insert your first ring the same day you get it (quick-start), you can insert the first ring on the first Sunday after your period starts, you can insert your ring on the first day of your period or any other day. Be sure to insert your first ring on a day that is easy to remember so that you can make sure you are always on track with your regimen. Also, if this is your first time ever using the ring, or if you forgot to replace your ring at the right time, you will need to use a back-up method of birth control (like Condoms) for the next seven days just to be safe.

One ring will be inserted and left inside the vagina for 3 weeks (21 days), after those three weeks the ring will be removed. No new ring will be inserted for the next seven days. During this time the woman will have her period. After that week the woman will insert a new ring on the same day and at the same time she inserted the first ring. It is important that the ring is inserted at the same time on the same day as the last ring.

If the ring ever falls out it can be rinsed off in cool water and reinserted only if the ring has been outside of the vagina for less than three hours. If the ring has been out of the vagina for longer than three hours you will need to insert a new ring and start over the 21 day cycle. If the ring has been out longer than three hours and a new ring has been inserted it will be important to use a back-up method (like Condoms) for seven days to avoid pregnancy.

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How Can I Get The NuvaRing?

A prescription is required to purchase a NuvaRing. To get a prescription you can make an appointment at your local health dept, reproductive health clinic, or your family health care provider. NuvaRings are available at most pharmacies.

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Is The NuvaRing The Right Birth Control Method For Me?

The NuvaRing is a very effective form of birth control. Many women like the NuvaRing because it does not require them to remember to take a pill everyday. The Ring also has many health benefits associated with its use. These benefits include:

More regular, lighter, and less painful periods.

Reduced risk of developing ovarian cysts or ovarian and uterine cancers.

Reduced risk of ectopic pregnancy.

May also reduce acne

But the Ring may not be for everyone. Here are some things to consider when trying to decide of the ring will work for your lifestyle.

The Ring does NOT protect against Sexually Transmitted Diseases. If you are at risk for contracting STDs you will need to take the necessary precautions to avoid them as well as pregnancy.

The Ring must be used correctly and consistently to be effective, this includes being inserted at the right time on the right day. If it will be hard for you to use the Ring correctly you may want to choose a different method.

Some women may experience side effects. These side effects may include irregular periods (no bleeding, irregular bleeding, or spotting), breast tenderness, nausea and vaginal wetness.

Who Should NOT Use the NuvaRing?

Women who should not take the ring include women who think they may be pregnant, women with blood clots, certain cancers, active liver disease, migraines with aura, current breast cancer or cancer of the uterus, cervix or vagina, women over 35 years of age who smoke, women with high blood pressure, history of stroke, or history of certain heart diseases.

If while using the ring you experience severe abdominal pain, chest pain or shortness of breath, headaches, blurred vision, or severe leg or arm numbness, remove the ring immediately and seek medical care.

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Does The NuvaRing Prevent STDs Too?

The NuvaRing is great for preventing unintended pregnancies but it offers NO PROTECTION against sexually transmitted diseases! If you are at risk for contracting STDs, you will need to take the necessary precautions to avoid them as well as pregnancy. To learn more about STDs and how to prevent them click HERE

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Are There Any Side Effects Associated Wtih This Method

Many women experience no side effects when first starting the Ring. However, some women may experience headaches, nausea, breast tenderness, mood swings, and spotting for the first couple of months. These symptoms will stop with the continued use of the Ring.

Some women may experience minimal weight gain while on the Ring. This is caused by an increase in appetite and can be avoided through proper diet and adequate exercise.

If you experience severe abdominal pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, severe headache, blurred vision, or swelling or severe pain in one leg, remove the Ring and seek medical care.

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Ectopic Pregnancy: Also called a tubal pregnancy, this is a pregnancy that is not in the uterus; usually in the fallopian tubes. A life-threatening condition for both mother and baby. Click Here to see an image of Ectopic Pregnancy.
Synthetic: something that is produced artificially or manufactured
Ovulation: when a mature egg is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube and travels towards the uterus
Severe Headache: this headache would be very painful and may be located on both sides of the head or only on one side. It may be throbbing or stabbing. Vision changes, nausea or vomiting may occur. Usually not relieved with aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), or acetaminophen (Tylenol). May be a symptom of a medical emergency.
Severe Abdominal Pain: this pain, located in the lower abdomen, is stronger than normal menstrual pain and usually not relieved with ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). May be a symptom of a medical emergency. On a pain scale of 0-10, with 10 being the worst pain, a person would rate severe pain in the 8-10 category.
Spotting: menstrual blood that is very small in amount, ranging from a dime to quarter size. Spotting may occur before or after normal menstrual flow which is normal or may happen between periods which could be abnormal