Health Info

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Birth Control Methods - NuvaRing

The NuvaRing is a vaginal ring containing the two hormones, estrogen and progestin, which are released in low doses continuously. These hormones help to prevent pregnancy by:

How well does the NuvaRing work?

Only 1-2 women in 100 will become pregnant if the NuvaRing is used correctly and consistently or 98 – 99% effective.

Other Medications and the NuvaRing

The following medications and supplements may interfere with the effectiveness of the NuvaRing. We recommend that women using these medications use another birth control method while on these medications and for 7 days after completing them:

Benefits of the NuvaRing

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NuvaRing Risks

There is a slight increased risk of developing blood clots when using the NuvaRing. When blood clots occur, they usually first develop in a lower leg and are a potentially life threatening side effect which can lead to heart attack, stroke or lung complications. However, only 1.2 to 2 women in 10,000 that use NuvaRing will develop a blood clot.

If you experience any of these symptoms, see your clinician, return to the clinic or go to the nearest Emergency Room immediately. Do not wait for these symptoms to get better.

Additional side effects from the NuvaRing are not life threatening, but may be serious:

NuvaRing Side Effects

Minor side effects of the NuvaRing that could occur:

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How to use the NuvaRing:

There are two methods for using the NuvaRing.

  1. Insert the NuvaRing in the vagina and keep it in place for 3 weeks in a row. Remove the ring for 7 days. This is the week you will have your period. Replace with a new ring in 1 week.  You will always replace and remove your NuvaRing on the same day of the week (e.g. Sunday).
  2. Insert the NuvaRing in the vagina the 1st day of every month. Remove the ring on the 25th of every month. You will have your period a few days after removal.

You can have intercourse and use tampons with the NuvaRing in place.

First time users:

  1. Start with your period: On day 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 of your period, insert the NuvaRing even if you have vaginal bleeding.  You should use a back up birth control method for the first 7 days after inserting the ring.
  2. Today Start: Insert your NuvaRing today if you have not had unprotected intercourse since your last period. Use a back up birth control method for 7 days.

Switching From the Pill or the Patch

Insert the NuvaRing anytime during the placebo week of Pills or during the “patch free” week. No back-up birth control method is needed.

If the NuvaRing slips out

Sometimes the NuvaRing slips out of the vagina while removing a tampon or during intercourse. If the ring has been out for less than three hours in a 24-hour period, you should still have birth control protection. Replace the NuvaRing as soon as possible; if needed, the ring can be rinsed with
cool water.
If the NuvaRing has been out for more than 3 hours in a 24-hour period, replace the NuvaRing as soon as possible and use another birth control method for 7 days.

If the NuvaRing is in your vagina for too long

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In an emergency go to Mount Nittany Medical Center or call 911 for ambulance.

Test Results and Advice Nurse

Please call the nurse for test results and advice: 814-863-4463


Appointments can be made online via the UHS website, by phone or in person. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call and cancel. Otherwise you will be charged for the visit.

To schedule or cancel appointments call 814-863-0774 or schedule your appointment online through the UHS website.


This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. This information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional. Approved by the UHS Patient Education Committee, reviewed 3/08/2017.

Other Health Topics: Women’s Health | Sexual Health | Birth Control | Illegal Drug Use

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