The Contraceptive Ring or NuvaRing
What is this method?
The Nuva Ring is a soft, flexible, round ring about 2 inches around. It is inserted into the vagina to stop the woman from getting pregnant while having intercourse.
How does this method work?
The contraceptive ring, or NuvaRing, prevents pregnancy through the release of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. The releasing of these hormones prevents the egg from being sent to the uterus, therefore preventing its ability to become fertilized. The contraceptive ring also creates a thick mucus in the cervix that acts as a barrier to keep sperm out.
The NuvaRing is inserted into the vagina, much like a tampon, and is held by the vaginal muscles. The ring is inserted on day one of a female's menstrual cycle and remains there for 21 days, or three weeks. It is then replaced on the same day it was inserted only three weeks later. The hormones are not released for the first seven days after the contraceptive ring is in use, so it is recommended that another form of birth control be used for that week.
How effective is this method at protecting against pregnancy/STIs?
This method is used to prevent pregnancy, but like all methods of birth control, it is not 100% effective. (8/100 get an accidental pregnancy) The birth control ring does not protect against STI's. However, the use of a condom along with the Nuvaring will increase protection against sexually transmitted infections.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this method?
- inserted once a month
- doesn't interrupt sex
- 92-99% effective in preventing pregnancy
- no STI protection
- another birth control method should be used
What are the side effects of this method?
- mood changes
- blood clots
- vaginal irritation
What are the myths surrounding this method?
The ring falls out when you take out a tampon or go to the bathroom
- If the ring is in the right place, it should not fall out. If it does, you can wash it with cold water and put it back in.
The NuvaRing has more hormones and health risks then other types of birth control such as the pill
- The nuva ring actually releases less hormones then the birth control pill, and you have a much less chance of forming a blood clot while pregnant.
You have to take the ring out when you get wet or take a shower
- You can leave the ring in for about 3 weeks, as well as while showering and having intercourse
What are the specific skills required to use this method correctly?
A female must be able to insert the NuvaRing into the vagina in order to use this form of contraception. The position of the contraception ring is not a factor of the effectiveness, so the ring should just feel comfortable. If the ring is not comfortable, it can be adjusted or removed and reinserted.
How and where would a person access this method in our community? Is a prescription needed?
A prescription is needed to use the NuvaRing. A doctor or a nurse practitioner has to prescribe the ring. They will ask questions about health and family medical history, and do a complete physical exam. This may include a blood pressure measurement and a pelvic exam. The doctor or nurse practitioner will give you instructions on how to use it if a prescription is given. Any teen or adult with a prescription can use this method.
The contraceptive rings can be prescribed at a physicians office, as well as health and family planning clinics, such as Planned Parenthood.
How much does this method cost?
Why would adolescents use this method?
The contraceptive ring, or NuvaRing, is a rather effective form of birth control when paired with a male or female condom. Studies have found that the effectiveness of the ring is the same as those found in other forms of birth control, such as the patch or pill. The contraceptive ring has on average a 92% effectiveness rate. Although the ring does not act as a barrier against STI's, the use of a condom along with the ring can provide protection against both pregnancy and STI's. Also, the NuvaRing only has the be inserted once a month as opposed to taking a birth control pill daily.