Do not use NuvaRing if you:
Smoke and are over 35 years old
Have or have had blood clots in your arms, legs, eyes or lungs
Have an inherited problem with your blood that makes it clot more than normal
Have certain heart valve problems or heart rhythm problems that can cause blood clots to form in the heart
Have high blood pressure that medicine can't control
Have diabetes with kidney, eye, nerve, or blood vessel damage
Have certain kinds of severe migraine headaches with aura, numbness, weakness, or changes in vision, or have any migraine headaches if you are over age 35
Have liver disease, including liver tumors
Have unexplained vaginal bleeding
Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. NuvaRing (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring) is not for pregnant women.
Have or have had breast cancer or any cancer that is sensitive to female hormones
Are allergic to etonogestrel, ethinyl estradiol or any of the ingredients in NuvaRing. See the list of ingredients in NuvaRing in the Patient Information.
Hormonal birth control methods may not be a good choice for you if you have ever had jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) caused by pregnancy or related to previous use of hormonal birth control.
Tell your health care provider if you have ever had any of the conditions listed above. Your health care provider can suggest another method of birth control.
Before you use NuvaRing tell your health care provider if you:
Have any medical conditions
Are pregnant or think you are pregnant
Recently had a miscarriage or abortion
Have a family history of breast cancer
Have or have had breast nodules, fibrocystic disease, an abnormal breast x-ray,
or abnormal mammogram
Use tampons and have a history of toxic shock syndrome
Have been diagnosed with depression
Have had liver problems including jaundice during pregnancy
Have or have had elevated cholesterol or triglycerides
Have or have had gallbladder, liver, heart, or kidney disease
Have a history of jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) caused by pregnancy (also called cholestasis of pregnancy)
Have a history of scanty or irregular menstrual periods
Have any condition that makes the vagina become irritated easily
Have or have had high blood pressure
Have or have had migraines or other headaches or seizures
Are scheduled for surgery. NuvaRing (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring) may increase your risk of blood clots after surgery. You should stop using NuvaRing at least 4 weeks before you have surgery and not restart it until at least 2 weeks after your surgery.
Are scheduled for any laboratory tests. Certain blood tests may be affected by hormonal birth
Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Hormonal birth control methods that contain estrogen, like NuvaRing, may decrease the amount of milk you make. A small amount of hormones from NuvaRing may pass into your breast milk. Consider another non-hormonal method of birth control until you are ready to stop breastfeeding.
Tell your health care provider about all medicines and herbal products you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some medicines and herbal products may make hormonal birth control less effective, including, but not limited to:
Certain anti-seizure medicines (such as barbiturates, carbamazepine, felbamate, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, rufinamide, topiramate)
Medicine to treat fungal infections (griseofulvin)
Certain combinations of HIV medicines, (such as nelfinavir, ritonavir, darunavir/ritonavir, (fos)
amprenavir/ritonavir, lopinavir/ritonavir, and tipranavir/ritonavir)
Certain hepatitis C (HCV) medicines (such as boceprevir, telaprevir)
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (such as nevirapine)
Medicine to treat tuberculosis (such as rifampicin and rifabutin)
Medicine to treat high blood pressure in the vessels of the lung (bosentan)
Medicine to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (aprepitant)
Use an additional birth control method (such as a male condom with spermicide) when you take medicines that may make NuvaRing less effective. Continue back-up birth control for 28 days after stopping the medicine to help prevent you from becoming pregnant.
Some medicines and grapefruit juice may increase the level of ethinyl estradiol in your blood if used together, including:
The pain reliever acetaminophen
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
Medicines that affect how your liver breaks down other medicines (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, and fluconazole)
Certain HIV medicines (atazanavir/ritonavir, indinavir)
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (such as etravirine)
Medicines to lower cholesterol such as atorvastatin and rosuvastatin
Hormonal birth control methods may interact with lamotrigine, a medicine used for seizures. This may increase the risk of seizures, so your health care provider may need to adjust your dose of lamotrigine.
Women on thyroid replacement therapy may need increased doses of thyroid hormone.
Ask your health care provider if you are not sure if you take any of the medicines listed above. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your health care provider and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.
Like pregnancy, combination hormonal birth control methods increase the risk of serious blood clots (see graph below), especially in women who have other risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, or age greater than 35. This increased risk is highest when you first start using a combination hormonal birth control method or when you restart the same or different combination hormonal birth control method after not using it for a month or more. Talk with your health care provider about your risk of getting a blood clot before using NuvaRing or before deciding which type of birth control is right for you.
In some studies of women who used NuvaRing, the risk of getting a blood clot was similar to the risk in women who used combination birth control pills.
Other studies have reported that the risk of blood clots was higher for women who use combination birth control pills containing desogestrel (a progestin similar to the progestin in NuvaRing) than for women who use combination birth control pills that do not contain desogestrel.
It is possible to die or be permanently disabled from a problem caused by a blood clot, such as heart attack or stroke. Some examples of serious blood clots are blood clots in the:
Legs (deep vein thrombosis)
Lungs (pulmonary embolus)
To put the risk of developing a blood clot into perspective: If 10,000 women who are not pregnant and do not use hormonal birth control are followed for one year, between 1 and 5 of these women will develop a blood clot. The figure below shows the likelihood of developing a serious blood clot for women who are not pregnant and do not use hormonal birth control, for women who use hormonal birth control, for pregnant women, and for women in the first 12 weeks after delivering a baby.
Likelihood of Developing a Serious Blood Clot (Venous Thromboembolism [VTE])
*CHC = combination hormonal contraception.
**Pregnancy data based on actual duration of pregnancy in the reference studies. Based on a model assumption that pregnancy duration is 9 months, the rate is 7 to 27 per 10,000 woman-years.
Call your health care provider right away if you have:
Leg pain that does not go away
Sudden shortness of breath
Sudden blindness, partial or complete
Severe pain or pressure in your chest
Sudden, severe headache unlike your usual headaches
Weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, or trouble speaking
Yellowing of the skin or eyeballs
Other serious risks include:
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Some of the symptoms are much the same as the flu, but they can become serious very quickly. Call your health care provider or get emergency treatment right away if you have the following symptoms:
Fainting or feeling faint when standing up
Liver problems, including liver tumors
Accidental insertion into bladder
Symptoms of a problem called angioedema if you already have a family history of angioedema
The most common side effects of NuvaRing (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring) are:
Tissue irritation inside your vagina or on your cervix
Headache (including migraine)
Mood changes (including depression, especially if you had depression in the past). Call your health care provider immediately if you have any thoughts of harming yourself.
NuvaRing problems, including the ring slipping out or causing discomfort
Breast pain, discomfort, or tenderness
Painful menstrual periods
Some women have spotting or light bleeding during NuvaRing use. If these symptoms occur, do not stop using NuvaRing (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring). The problem will usually go away. If it doesn't go away, check with your health care provider.
Other side effects seen with NuvaRing include allergic reaction, hives, breast discharge, and penis discomfort of the partner (such as irritation, rash, itching).
Less common side effects seen with combination hormonal birth control include:
Blotchy darkening of your skin, especially on your face
High blood sugar, especially in women who already have diabetes
High fat (cholesterol, triglycerides) levels in the blood
Tell your health care provider about any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all the possible side effects of NuvaRing. For more information, ask your health care provider or pharmacist. Call your health care provider for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
When used as directed, NuvaRing has been shown to be 98% effective, just like the pill. Your chance of getting pregnant depends on how well you follow the directions for using NuvaRing. The better you follow the directions, the less chance you have of getting pregnant.
Use NuvaRing exactly as your health care provider tells you to use it.
NuvaRing is used in a 4-week cycle.
Insert 1 NuvaRing in the vagina and keep it in place for 3 weeks (21 days).
Remove the NuvaRing for a 1-week break (7 days). During the 1-week break (7 days), you will usually have your period.
Note: Insert and remove NuvaRing on the same day of the week and at the same time:
For example, if you insert your NuvaRing on a Monday at 8:00 AM, you should remove
it on the Monday 3 weeks later at 8:00 AM.
After your 1-week break (7 days), you should insert a new NuvaRing on the next
Monday at 8:00 AM.
While using NuvaRing, you should not use a vaginal diaphragm as your back-up method of birth control because NuvaRing may interfere with the correct placement and position of a diaphragm.
Use of spermicides or vaginal yeast products will not make NuvaRing (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring) less effective at preventing pregnancy.
Use of tampons will not make NuvaRing less effective or stop NuvaRing from working.
If NuvaRing has been left inside your vagina for more than 4 weeks (28 days), you may not be protected from pregnancy and you should see your health care provider to be sure you are not pregnant. Until you know the results of your pregnancy test, you should use an extra method of birth control, such as male condoms with spermicide, until the new NuvaRing has been in place for 7 days in a row.
Do not use more than 1 NuvaRing at a time. Too much hormonal birth control medicine in your body may cause nausea, vomiting, or vaginal bleeding.
No. NuvaRing is non-biodegradable so it will not dissolve. It releases a low dose of hormones into your body over the course of 3 weeks. After that time, you need to remove it, take a week off from NuvaRing, and insert a new one 7 days after removal.
NuvaRing is easy to insert and remove:
Inserting NuvaRing: After washing and drying your hands, remove NuvaRing from the foil pouch. Keep the foil pouch for proper disposal of the ring after use. Holding NuvaRing between your thumb and index finger, press the sides together while lying down, squatting, or standing with one leg up—whatever is most comfortable for you. Gently push the folded ring into your vagina. If you feel discomfort after inserting NuvaRing (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring), slide it farther in until it feels comfortable. Once inserted in the vagina, there is no risk of NuvaRing being pushed too far up or getting lost. Some women have accidently inserted NuvaRing into their bladder. If you have pain during or after insertion and you cannot find NuvaRing in your vagina, call your health care provider right away.
Removing NuvaRing: Remove the ring 3 weeks (21 days) after insertion on the same day of the week it was inserted at about the same time. After washing and drying your hands, hook your index finger under the forward rim or hold the rim between your index and middle fingers. Gently pull out NuvaRing. Place the used NuvaRing in the re-sealable foil pouch and dispose of it in a waste receptacle out of the reach of children and pets. Do not throw it in the toilet. Your menstrual period will usually start 2 or 3 days after the ring is removed and may not have finished before the next ring is inserted. To continue to have pregnancy protection, you must insert a new ring 1 week (7 days) after the last one was removed even if your period has not stopped.
It is important to consult with your health care provider to make sure you are not pregnant before starting NuvaRing.
When you start using NuvaRing depends on your current birth control situation. Talk to your health care provider and read the Patient Information for more details. For basic directions on how to start NuvaRing, read this.
Although some women may be aware of NuvaRing in the vagina, most women can't feel NuvaRing once it's in place. NuvaRing may move around slightly within your vagina. This is normal. If you do feel discomfort, NuvaRing is probably not fully inserted. In that case, just use your finger to gently push the NuvaRing as far as you can into your vagina.
Rest assured, there is no danger of NuvaRing being pushed too far up in the vagina or getting lost. The cervix (the narrow, lower end of the uterus) will block NuvaRing from going any farther. NuvaRing can accidentally slip out of the vagina while removing a tampon, during intercourse, or straining during a bowel movement.
Some women have accidentally inserted NuvaRing into their bladder. If you have pain during or after insertion and you cannot find NuvaRing in your vagina, call your health care provider right away.
During intercourse, some sexual partners may feel NuvaRing in the vagina. However, in clinical studies 9 out of 10 (90%) partners did not find this to be a problem.
No. As with other hormonal birth control methods, NuvaRing does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) or other sexually transmitted infections.
Hormonal birth control methods do not seem to cause breast cancer. However, if you have breast cancer now or have had it in the past, do not use hormonal birth control, including
NuvaRing (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring), because some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones.
Women who use hormonal birth control methods may have a slightly higher chance of getting cervical cancer. However, this may be due to other reasons such as having more sexual partners.