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The Nuva Ring® is a reversible prescription method of birth control. It is a small soft synthetic rubber ring containing the same type of hormones found in the birth control pills. The Ring is inserted by the woman into the vagina similar to inserting a tampon. It remains there for three weeks, releasing the hormones into the blood stream. On the fourth week it is removed causing a light menstrual flow. At the end of the fourth week, a new Ring is inserted.
We will provide you with a free sample ring for the first month and a prescription if you and your doctor decide that the ring is right for you. We will give you an additional sample when you return for your post-operative examination.
The cost of the Nuva Ring® can vary depending on where you buy it and your insurance coverage. You will need an annual exam from your physician to continue your prescription.
The effectiveness of the Nuva Ring® is comparable or better than the pill. It uses the same hormones, releases them in a more constant dose and the ring’s effectiveness does not rely upon your remembering to take it at the same time everyday like the pill.
If pregnancy is desired, it can take one to three months for periods to return to the cycle you had before using the ring. It can take several months after normal cycles start to become pregnant.
The Nuva Ring® has some unique advantages. It is convenient to use, since it is inserted only once per month. The steady release of hormones also eliminates some of the problems caused by daily hormone fluctuation seen with the pills. Since it is not taken by mouth, it is not affected by other medications or by being ill.
Otherwise, the advantages are similar to the birth control pills since the hormones in the ring are similar:
The hormones in the Nuva Ring® and birth control pill offer significant risk reduction for ovarian and endometrial cancers. They may also offer some protection against osteoporosis.
Disadvantages & Side Effects
The most common reasons women discontinue the Nuva Ring® are an increase in vaginal discharge or vaginal irritation or infection. These occur in a small percentage of women.
Since the Nuva Ring® uses the same hormones as the birth control pills, the side effects are similar. Usually the more common side effects disappear after several months. These include:
If side effects persist or are severe, discuss the problem with your physician. The two of you may decide that a different form of birth control is better for you.
The Nuva Ring® does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. A condom can reduce the risk of infection.
Like the birth control pills, Nuva Ring® users have a slightly greater chance of developing certain serious problems that can be fatal in very rare cases. These include blood clots in the veins or lungs, and liver tumors. The chance of developing some of these problems are increased by: