What is the NuvaRing?

The NuvaRing, also known as the vaginal ring, or just the ring, is a small, flexible ring that is placed into a person’s vagina once a month to prevent pregnancy.

It releases hormones called estrogen and progestin. The hormones work by keeping the eggs in the body from leaving the ovaries (ovulation) – without ovulation, you can’t get pregnant! 

How does it work?

The NuvaRing releases hormones called estrogen and progestin. The hormones in the ring work by keeping the eggs in the 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 NuvaRing works by inserting it into a person’s vagina. The ring stays in place for three weeks, then you take it out the fourth week. During this week, you will get your period. At the end of that week, you would then insert a new ring the following week. This starts the cycle all over again. There is no need to take the ring out during sex. You and your partner should not feel it!

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Women will get pregnant each year using the NuvaRing.


Effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly.


It only takes one week for the NuvaRing to begin working. 


The ring doesn’t prevent STIs – but condoms do! Use in combination!

How do you put it in?

Putting in a vaginal ring should feel like putting in a tampon! And just like a tampon, you’ll know when it isn’t sitting just right. Always wash your hands before and right inserting or taking out your NuvaRing! If you’re seeing a health provider, you can ask for them to insert your first ring or to give you a demonstration – that’s what docs are for!

Check out this short video for a demonstration on inserting a vaginal ring. 

How do I make the
NuvaRing work for me?

To make the ring work best, you must use it correctly; some people forget to put a new ring in after they have their period, or they delay in getting their prescriptions refilled from the pharmacy or clinic . Staying on a schedule can be tough – you’re not alone in this!

Here are some tips to help make sure you stay on schedule:

SET a reminder

Use a birth control reminder app or set an alarm on your phone.

track the dates

Use a calendar to mark the days you need to take out the ring, put it in, or get a new one. 

buddy system

Be birth control buddies with friends or family who also use the ring to help remind you.

Ask your partner

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What are the benefits?

Using the NuvaRing is so simple! 

  • You don’t have to think about birth control every time you have sex!
  • People who use the ring have more regular, lighter, and shorter periods. 
  • For people that want to eventually get pregnant, it is easy to stop using. 
  • There are additional health benefits to using a vaginal ring:

     > possibly clearing up acne

     > protection again certain types of cancer

     > reducing chance of getting bad menstrual cramps, heavy or irregular periods and anemia 

  • You are in control! The NuvaRing provides birth control protection so you can deal with all the other important things in your life like school, your job, family, relationships and everything else under the sun! 
  • If you’re going on vacation and you don’t feel like dealing with your period when you are scheduled to remove the ring, you can leave it in for an extra week and then take it out the following week – more control over when you get your period! 

What are the downsides?

  • The ring doesn’t protect against HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Use an internal or external condom to reduce the risk of infection during sex! 
  • 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 people get when they first start the ring like breast tenderness or nausea or vaginal irritation. 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. 
  • Sometimes hormonal contraception can cause moodiness or depression. if you find that happens to you while on the NuvaRing, let your health provider know. 
  • Folks 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. 

Is the NuvaRing right for me?

There are lots of choices for contraception. Many young people will try different types of birth control before they find the right one for them. If your answers to the following questions are yes, then you should try the NuvaRing:

how can i get it?

You will need a prescription from a health care provider. You can fill the prescription at any drugstore – some clinics can provide the ring at their site after you’ve seen a provider, like at Project STAY!

how much does it cost?

The NuvaRing can cost between $0 to $80 a month, depending on health insurance coverage. Project STAY can help provide you with the NuvaRing for 3 months if you do not have Medicaid. After that, we can refer you to other places where you can get it for a low fee if you don’t have any other sexual health concerns.

need help finding insurance?

If you need help finding health insurance, log onto SingleStop to find a site near where you live or work to get assistance with getting medical insurance. 

Have more questions? Call or text us!

What else do I need to know? 

  • Putting in a NuvaRing is just like inserting a tampon. If in correctly you wont feel it. If you feel it you need to adjust it so it is in correctly. 
  • Keep your ring(s) in the same place so you don’t lose them
  • Keep NuvaRing‘s at room temperature, away from direct sunlight for up to 4 months. 
  • The ring sometimes can fall out “once in a blue”. If the ring falls out or you decide to remove it, rinse it with warm water and put it back in within three hours.
  • You should not gain weight while on the NuvaRing. If you do, it is probably due to over-eating and lack of exercise. Talk to your health provider for advice about losing weight if that happens.