Vaginal Ring (Nuva Ring)

Vaginal Ring (Nuva Ring)

The contraceptive vaginal ring is a new method of contraception. It is a soft, plastic ring, that goes into the vagina and prevents pregnancy

How does the vaginal ring work?

The vaginal ring contains two kinds of hormones – oestrogen and progestogen – which stop an egg from being released (ovulation).

How do you use the vaginal ring?

You insert the vaginal ring at the start of your menstrual cycle and leave it in place continuously for three weeks. Then take it out to have a ring-free week and you will have a light period. You can insert and remove the vaginal ring by yourself at home.

The first time you use the vaginal ring, you should insert it on the first day of your period. You will be protected against pregnancy immediately.  If you start using the ring any other time in your menstrual cycle you will not be protected straight away and will need to use additional contraception, such as condoms, for the first seven days.

What is good about the vaginal ring?

  • It’s easy to put in and take out (you can do that by yourself).
  • You can leave it in place for 3 weeks – you don’t have to think about it every day.
  • It gives 24 hour protection.
  • May reduce the risk of cancer of the ovary and womb.
  • No evidence that it causes additional weight gain.
  • Fertility returns to normal immediately after stopping.
  • Bleeding during periods may become lighter, shorter and less painful.
  • It may help to relieve pre-menstrual tension (PMT).
  • The ring is not affected if you vomit or have diarrhoea.

What do you need to watch out for with the vaginal ring?

  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Low risk of blood clots, breast and cervical cancer.
  • You may get some temporary side effects like vaginal discharge, headaches and nausea.
  • Some women may not like putting it in or taking it out.

How effective is the vaginal ring?

The vaginal ring is almost 99% effective. This means that 1 in 100 women who use the vaginal ring will get pregnant each year.

What makes the vaginal ring less effective?

  • /Use of some medicines such as some common antibiotics can make the vaginal ring less effective.
  • EllaOne (a new type of emergency contraception) can reduce the effectiveness of hormonal contraception

Who can use the vaginal ring?

The vaginal ring is not suitable for all women. Your doctor or nurse will need to know about your medical history and any illnesses suffered by immediate members of her family. That’s to find out if there are any medical reasons why it might not be suitable for you.