If you’re thinking about starting to use the Nuva Ring®, or actually you’re using it, or just have interest in any type of birth control method, look at the following information which will hopefully help educate your consideration a little more.
What is the Nuva Ring?
NuvaRing® is a trade name manufactured by Merck (Pharmaceutical Company). In other words, it is known as the hormonal vaginal ring. The vaginal ring is a method of birth control made of a flexible transparent plastic, and it is about 5 cm in diameter (2 inches).
This ring works similarly to any other hormonal contraceptive. The ring is placed inside the vagina and releases the hormones estrogen and progestin. These hormones prevent pregnancy.
The contraceptive vaginal ring is a simple and practical birth control method that any woman can use, after consulting with their doctor.
How does it work?
According to specialists, you have to put the Nuva Ring inside your vagina in the first 5 days of your period. The ring will remain in your vagina for three weeks (21 days). You must then remove the ring in the fourth week, when your period starts.
The question here is: How do I put in the ring the first day of my period if I’m bleeding quite intense?
It certainly can be unpleasant to introduce the ring on the first day. Consider that you can also introduce the ring even on the last day of your period, but no more than the 5th day of menstruation. You have to consider that the ring only protects you for three weeks before the next period starts.
The ring releases two hormones (estrogen and progestin) which prevent ovulation and make the cervical mucus thicker, becoming a barrier to prevent sperm can fertilize an egg.
How effective it is?
Nuva Ring is quite effective, similar to the contraceptive patch. 1 out of 100 women can get pregnant in a year, so it is 99% effective.
Specialists suggest that during the first 7 days of use, your partner have to use a condom to reduce the possibility of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections.
Like any other contraceptive, you have to take care that the vaginal ring does not get out your vagina. If the ring remains inside, you will be protected.
The exact position of the ring is not important for it to be effective, but remember that you have to feel comfortable.
What are the advantages?
Nuva Ring has the following advantages:
- It is easy to put into your vagina. You can place it by yourself. It does not require the intervention of a specialist.
- This method of contraception is reversible. This means that you can remove it and you can get pregnant immediately. The hormones may linger in the system a bit, but this should not take more than approximately 24 hours.
- It contains a hormone level lower than any other oral contraceptive.
- You can buy it at any pharmacy, even without a prescription in some countries. However, I recommend you to see your doctor to decide what the most appropriate contraceptive method is for you.
- It is placed only once a month.
- You do not have to be interrupted during intercourse, in order to use a contraceptive, like the condom. The ring is already there.
What are the disadvantages?
Nuva Ring is a contraceptive method, so it does not help to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
Hormonal contraceptives may affect you in different ways. However, the most common disadvantages or side effects of birth control are:
- It can cause headaches or nausea.
- There may be some vaginal irritation.
- It is possible that some women feel breast tenderness.
- In some women the hormones may cause irregularities in vaginal bleeding.
As you can see, these disadvantages are very mild. However, the vaginal ring is not recommended for everybody, especially women with certain health problems.
If you have some of the following problems, I recommend you not to use the vaginal ring:
- History of heart attack or stroke.
- Blood clots.
- Vaginal bleeding.
Combination with other medications:
It is not recommended if you take any other medicine. If you are sick and you are taking a kind of drug, consult your doctor because it may lose the effect of the ring.
Smoking is not a healthy condition when using the vaginal ring. The hormones may cause undesired effects.
If the Nuva Ring is not appropriate for you, there are other birth control methods you can use.
How do I use it?
Placing the Nuva Ring into your vagina is very simple, but it is always necessary to practice.
There are three very practical positions to put the birth control ring:
- You may want to lie down in bed with knees bent.
- Squat down with knees bent.
- Standing with one leg on a chair or toilet seat.
Putting the ring is similar to inserting a tampon:
- Wash your hands before putting the ring.
- Open the envelope containing the ring.
- Take the ring with the index and thumb finger, squeeze the ring.
- Introduce the ring gently into your vagina as far as it will go.
You do not have to worry about how the ring is left into your vagina. Just make sure it is inside. The ring will remain tight with the walls of your vagina
Removing the Nuva Ring is equally simple:
- Wash your hands before removing the ring.
- Choose again the most convenient and comfortable position for you.
- Introduce the index finger in your vagina to touch and pull the ring out.
- Place the ring in its original packaging and discard it.
What else should I know?
Store all vaginal rings to wear in the future at room temperature. Make sure they do not receive direct sunlight.
If the vaginal ring gets out of the vagina (which is unlikely), wash it with cold or warm water, never hot, and reinsert it as fast as possible. Personally I recommend you putting a new one.
If the vaginal ring is out of your vagina more than three hours, prevent pregnancy decreases significantly.
If you forget to remove the ring after three weeks, you will not be protected to prevent pregnancy. If that happens, remember to do a pregnancy test to make sure if you are pregnant or not.
If you like physical fitness, do not worry, the Nuva Ring will not come out with the movement of exercise.
Most women who use the vaginal ring do not feel it once it is in place. If you feel it, gently push the ring a little further back into the vagina.
The ring should not hurt or cause discomfort once it is inserted and placed correctly.
Regardless of which method of birth control you use, it is important that you use a method which does not cause discomfort. The ring should not hurt or cause discomfort once it is inserted and placed correctly.
If the NuvaRing® causes you any discomfort, you should try another birth control method, and consult your doctor for a professional recommendation.
If you and your partner have decided to have a baby, remember just remove the vaginal ring and learn how to get pregnant.