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NuvaRing is the brand name of a small, flexible vaginal ring approved by the FDA to be used as an effective contraceptive method to prevent pregnancy. As 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 the vagina. It is inserted for a 3 week duration followed by a one week break. It is clinically proven to be just as effective as the contraceptive pill with over 98% effectiveness as a method of birth control.
The Nuvaring works in a similar way to contraceptive pills, releasing a steady dose of hormones (synthetic oestrogen and progestogen) in the form of ethinylestradiol and etonogestrel. These hormones 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 Nuvaring 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:
The NuvaRing is easy to use and is inserted in place for three weeks before being removed for a week. Keep it in place for three weeks in a row. More details on how to use the ring include:
This contraceptive method can be should be stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight and if it isn't suitably positioned it can be pushed in a little further until it is. The ring will not go missing and once inserted, the ring will remain in the vagina for 21 days, after which you will need to remove the ring for a 7-day break
To remove the NuvaRing:
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.
Known as expulsion, this may occasionally happen and if so, wash the Nuvaring 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.
The NuvaRing contains both synthetic oestrogen and progestogen hormones; ethinylestradiol/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 NuvaRing 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. With regards to the vaginal ring, 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.
In rare cases more serious side effects may occur such as blurring vision, jaundice, migraines, blood clots or heart attack. If any of these occur, ensure you see your healthcare provider or doctor as soon as possible, to ensure the vaginal ring is not affecting you negatively in the long run and what alternatives there may be.
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 pills 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 or healthcare provider to understand what alternatives may be suitable for you, its effects on your health and the possibility of using this contraceptive method.
Certain medication may reduce the effective of this vaginal ring, therefore it is important that the doctor is informed of the use of the following during the online consultation:
Certain studies have shown that the prolonged use of the NuvaRing over a certain amount of years can increase the chances of a blood clot in women compared to those who use the standard combined contraceptive pills. It is therefore important that you check with your doctor first and take the necessary precautionary measures to ensure that the NuvaRing is the best contraceptive option for you.
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 NuvaRing 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 vaginal ring is available to buy here at HealthExpress safely and quickly. To ensure your safety and so that we can provide a prescription for this birth control method, we ask that you fill out our quick online consultation. If approved, the treatment is dispatched through our express delivery service the next day.
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