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Is the VAGINAL RING the right method for you?

 Basics about the VAGINAL RING (NuvaRing®)

  • It is a flexible, transparent vaginal ring, about as big as a silver dollar
  • It contains a combination of the progestin etonogestrel and the estrogen ethinyl estradiol
  • The woman inserts it into her vagina and leaves it for three weeks
  • It keeps the woman's egg from leaving her ovaries (ovulation), makes the cervical mucus thicker, and changes the lining of the uterus (endometrium) so that the fertilized egg will not attach to the uterus (works similar to the Birth Control Pill)

Couples might LIKE the VAGINAL RING because:

  • Convenient, does not interfere with sex
  • There are no pills to take every day
  • It needs to be changed ONLY once a month because, once inserted in the vagina, it works for three weeks in a row

Couples might DISLIKE the VAGINAL RING because:

  • The vaginal ring needs to be removed three weeks after insertion on the same day of the week it was inserted, at about the same time.
  • Offers no protection against transmission of STIs/STDs and HIV/AIDS.

How well does the VAGINAL RING work?

Vaginal Ring is 98-99% effective when used correctly

How does the VAGINAL RING compare with the effectiveness of other forms of birth control?

Women out of 100 that got pregnant using the methods below

Abstinence No women
Depo Provera Shots 1 out of 100
Sterilization 1 out of 100
Contraceptive Patch 1 out of 100
IUD 2 out of 100
Vaginal Ring 2 out of 100
The Pill 3 out of 100
Male Condom 12 out of 100
Spermicide 16-21 out of 100
Diaphragm 18 out of 100
NFP/FAM 20 out of 100
Female Condom 21 out of 100
No Method 85 out of 100

How do you use the VAGINAL RING ?

You insert the ring in your vagina and leave it there for three weeks. You then remove it for a "one-week ring-free" period.

To insert NuvaRing, after washing and drying your hands, remove NuvaRing from its foil pouch. Keep the foil pouch for proper disposal of the ring after use. Choose the position that is most comfortable to use. For example, lying down, squatting, or standing with one leg up.

Hold NuvaRing between your thumb and index finger and press the opposite sides of the ring together. Gently push the folded ring into your vagina. The exact position of NuvaRing in the vagina is not important for it to work. Although some women may be aware of NuvaRing in the vagina, most women do not feel it once it is in place. If you feel discomfort, NuvaRing is probably not inserted back far enough in the vagina. Use your finger to gently push NuvaRing further into your vagina. Once inserted, keep NuvaRing in place for three weeks in a row.

Remove the ring three weeks after insertion on the same day of the week it was inserted, at about the same time. For example, when NuvaRing is inserted on a Sunday at about 10:00 PM, the ring should be removed on a Sunday three weeks later at about 10:00 PM. You can remove NuvaRing by hooking the index finger under the forward rim or by holding the rim between the index and middle finger and pulling it out. Place the used ring in the foil pouch and properly dispose of it in a waste receptacle out of the reach of children and pets. Do not throw it in the toilet.

Your menstrual period will usually start two to three days after the ring is removed and may not have finished before the next ring is inserted. Insert a new ring one week after the last one was removed, even if your menstrual period has not stopped.

Possible side effects:

  • Vaginal infections and irritations
  • Vaginal discharge (leukorrhea)
  • Headache
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Change in appetite
  • Abdominal cramps and bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Irregular vaginal bleeding

Signs there might be a problem:

You should go to your nearest hospital emergency room if you experience any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Severe pain or tenderness in the stomach area
  • Sharp chest pain, coughing of blood, or sudden shortness of breath
  • Sudden severe headache or vomiting, dizziness or fainting
  • Sudden partial or complete loss of vision
  • Pain in the calf
  • Crushing chest pain or heaviness in the chest
Department of Public Health
Family Planning
3900 Sherman Way - Suite J - Riverside, CA 92503
(951)358-5192 or Email: