The NuvaRing – also known as the vaginal ring - is a hormonal contraceptive alternative to the pill, and is around 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. The ring has a slow dose of synthetic female hormones, oestrogen and progestogen, and is very low maintenance, needing to only be inserted once a month.
You can buy NuvaRing here at HealthExpress, simply fill out the quick online consultation which allows our doctor to make sure this contraceptive treatment is right for you. After it is assessed by one of our registered doctors and approved for your safety, you can complete your order and have your contraceptive ring pack delivered via our free next day delivery service (same day if within London) when ordered before 4pm
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The NuvaRing is a small, flexible vaginal ring used as an effective contraceptive method to prevent pregnancy.
A small circular ring at about 2 inches in diameter, it is soft and can be squeezed into a smaller shape, making it easier to insert into your vagina. It is inserted for a 3 week duration followed by a one week break, which is reminiscent of the pill, but without the daily usage the pill entails. It is just as effective as the contraceptive pill, and in fact studies have shown that less than 1 out of 100 women will fall pregnant using the NuvaRing.
The vaginal ring works in a similar way to the combined pill by releasing a steady dose of synthetic oestrogen and progestogen in the form of ethinyl estradiol and etonogestrel. These active ingredients work together to prevent pregnancy in three ways:
This three-way form of protection has been proven to give you near total protection against pregnancy if used correctly. As with any contraception, if you miss a dosage, effectiveness will alter.
Whilst the vaginal ring is the lesser-known form of hormonal contraception, it is still 99% effective against pregnancy proven in clinical trials. The main aim is obviously to stop conception, however like most contraceptive methods, there are additional pluses:
There are a few considerations that need to be understood before you decide to starting the use of this contraceptive ring. These include:
To use the ring, always make sure your hands are clean and follow the below process:
To remove the ring:
During your 7-day break, you may experience a withdrawal bleed similar to a period, but you will still be fully protected. You must insert your new ring one week after to remain fully protected. Inserting the NuvaRing late will lessen the effectiveness rate and you will need to use additional barrier protection for 7 days after. It's also worth noting that you cannot use the cervical cap, diaphragm and sponge along with the ring.
If you have had unprotected sex, or haven't used the vaginal ring correctly, you will need to seek alternative contraception.
If it's less than 7 days over (1-6 days over the 3 weeks, so up to 28 days altogether) take the ring out and have the 7-day break as normal. You are still protected. You may experience spotting, but women who don't want their periods do keep the vaginal ring in for an additional week before changing straight away so this isn't harmful to your health.
If it is more than 7 days over (over 28 days altogether) take the ring out and put a new ring in straight away. You may not be protected. Use additional barrier protection for an additional 7 days and consider emergency contraception if you've had sex in the days you should have been on a break.
Also known as expulsion, this may occasionally happen and if so, wash the ring in cool or lukewarm water and insert again as soon as possible. If it has been out of your vagina for more than 48 hours, you will need to use barrier contraception for a further 7 days.
For more advice on what to do if the vaginal ring falls out, or if you forget to put one in or take one out, take a look at the NHS page.
The NuvaRing contains both synthetic oestrogen and progestogen hormones; ethinyl-estradiol/etonogestrel in the strength of 120mcg and 15mcg respectively. This is the optimum dosage that has been clinically trialled, allowing for optimum effectiveness with minimum risk to health and side effects.
The contraceptive vaginal ring has been noted to be well tolerated for the vast majority of women. As with all prescription medication though, there is always a slight possibility of experiencing side certain side effects. In regards to the NuvaRing, although not common, some side effects may include:
Other infrequent side effects include increased vaginal discharge and/or irritation, a change in libido or mood changes.
If you do experience anything severe e.g. lump on your breast, a severe headache or migraine, or a sharp pain especially in the chest or abdomen then it is advised that you contact your doctor as soon as you can.
This vaginal ring is suitable for most women over the age of 18 seeking an alternative to the contraceptive pill or patch. However, before you buy this contraceptive ring, it is important to be aware of its suitability. It may be considered unsuitable for use if you:
Ensure you speak with your doctor to understand what alternatives may be suitable for you, its effects on your health and the possibility of using this contraceptive method.
It is possible to become pregnant again three weeks after giving birth, so researching your contraceptive options is important. In terms of using the vaginal ring, this will depend on whether you are breastfeeding or not.
If you aren't breastfeeding, you can use the contraceptive ring four weeks after giving birth vaginally. If you are breastfeeding, you will need to wait at least six weeks as the NuvaRing can affect breast milk. There are also other contributing factors that could mean the ring isn't right for you after your pregnancy including obesity, age, whether you've had a C-section or a history of blood clots to name a few. It is always essential to speak to your GP before opting for a contraceptive method post-birth, whether this is the NuvaRing or any other option.
The only contraception that will protect against STIs is barrier methods such as condoms, which are 98% effective when used correctly. The vaginal ring will protect against pregnancy but cannot protect you against sexually transmitted infections. If you have an STI, treatment is available online or if you are concerned you have an STI, visit a sexual health clinic for testing.
The NuvaRing is available to buy here at HealthExpress. To ensure your safety and so that we can provide a prescription for this contraceptive, we ask that you fill out our quick online consultation. If approved, the treatment is dispatched through our express delivery service the next day (or same day if in London).