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Washington and Lee University

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Vaginal Ring (NuvaRing)

Background

A flexible polymer ring that is inserted into the vagina for 3 weeks to prevent pregnancy. It releases steady levels of estrogen and progesterone which lnhibits ovulation. Click for Nuva Ring website.

How to use

  • Insert ring into vagina and let it remain there for 3 weeks
  • Remove the ring for the 4th week and allow menstruation to begin
  • After 7 days insert a new ring
  • If the ring slips out, it can be reinserted if it is out for less than 3 hours

Advantages

  • Controls the menstrual cycle
  • Reduces likelihood of endometrial or ovarian cancer
  • Reduces menstrual cramps
  • Reduces acne
  • Leads to lighter and more regular periods
  • Reduces iron deficiency anemia
  • Reduces bone thinning

Disadvantages

  • Does not provide protection from STIs
  • May lead to spotting (bleeding between periods)
  • May increase breast tenderness
  • Can cause nausea or vomiting
  • May increase vaginal discharges, irritations, or infections
  • May be at greater risk for heart disease, blood clots, or stroke
  • Can sometimes cause jaundice

Efficacy

Failure rate ranges from 1.0% - 9.0%.

Availability

  • Need prescription from a Health Care provider (Primary Care physician, OB/GYN, W&L Student Health Center)
  • Cost: $15 - $70 per month