The NuvaRing

What is it?

The Nuva Ring, also known as the vaginal ring, or just the ring, is a small, flexible ring that is placed into a woman’s vagina once a month to prevent pregnancy. It is left in place for three weeks and taken out for the remaining week each month.

How does it work?

The Nuva Ring releases hormones called estrogen and progestin. The hormones in the ring work by keeping the eggs in the woman’s body from leaving the ovaries (ovulation). Without ovulation you can’t get pregnant. No eggs – no pregnancy. Estrogen and progestin also makes the cervical mucus thicker. This keeps sperm from getting into the uterus.

The Nuva Ring works by inserting it into a woman’s vagina. The ring stays in place for three weeks, then you take it out the fourth week, and then insert a new ring the following week. This starts the cycle all over again. That keeps the correct level of hormone in her body. Project STAY has a text message app to help a woman remember when to insert the ring, and when to take it out. There is no need to take the ring out during sex. The ring sometimes can fall out while a woman removes her tampon, goes to the bathroom or haves sex. If the rings falls out or you decide to remove it, rinse it with warm water and put it back in within three hours.

How well does it work?

Less than 1 out of 100 women will get pregnant each year if they always use Nuvaring as directed. Since it takes about a week for the Nuvaring to begin working, we recommend you use a back up method like condoms to protect yourself. Condoms are a good idea to keep using anyway as they prevent sexually transmitted diseases which the Nuvaring doesn’t….

Certain medicines and supplements may make the pill less effective. Talk to your health care provider about the medications you are taking when you go to discuss the birth control pill.

What are the benefits?

  • Using the vaginal ring is simple.
  • You don’t have to think about birth control each time you have sex.
  • Women who use the vaginal ring have more regular, lighter, and shorter periods.
  • For women who want to get pregnant, it is easy to do as soon as you stop the pill.
  • There are health benefits to using the Nuvaring such as: possibly clearing up acne, protection against certain types of cancer, reducing the chance of getting bad menstrual cramps, heavy or irregular periods and anemia (lack of iron)
  • You are in control! They last for years so you can deal with all the other important things in your life…like school, your job, family, relationships and whatnot.

What is the downside?

  • The ring doesn’t protect against HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Use a male or female condom to reduce the risk of infection.
  • You need a prescription to get the Nuvaring which means you have to meet with a health care provider first
  • There are some side effects that some women get when they first start the ring like breast tenderness or nausea. Most symptoms go away within the first few months. Talk to your health care provider if you are uncomfortable when you start the ring. They can reassure you and answer any questions.
  • Women with certain health conditions shouldn’t use the Nuvaring. Your health care provider will talk with you about your health history and help you decide if the ring is right for you.

How can I get it?

You need a prescription from a health care provider to get the Nuvaring. You can fill the prescription at any drugstore. Some clinics or health centers can provide the Ring at their site after you’ve seen a provider. The provider will show you how to insert and remove the ring

How much does it cost?

The Nuvaring can cost between $0 to $80 a month, depending on health-insurance coverage. If you need help finding insurance, log onto SingleStop to find a site near where you live or work to get assistance with getting medical insurance. Also, Project STAY can help you get what you need, come into Project Stay at Farrell on Thursday’s between 2-6pm. .