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What is the NuvaRing and how effective is it?

The NuvaRing or “the Ring” is a flexible rubber ring that’s inserted into the vagina for three weeks each month to prevent pregnancy. Hormones (estrogen and progesterone), which are concentrated in the Ring, are released into the reproductive system to prevent the body from releasing eggs (ovulating).

A girl inserts the Ring into the vagina between the first and fifth day of her menstrual cycle. The Ring stays in the vagina for exactly three weeks, and then the girl removes it. Two to three days after it’s removed, bleeding that’s like a period will occur. Exactly seven days from when she removes the ring, she inserts a new one. This gives ongoing protection against pregnancy.

The NuvaRing prevents pregnancy 99 percent of the time when used correctly every single month. It’s fully effective seven days after it is first inserted into the vagina and then continuously after that. The NuvaRing does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), so backup method of birth control, such as a male and female condom, should be used. Some side effects include vaginal infections, irritation and discharge, headaches, weight gain or loss and nausea.

A prescription is needed for the Ring, just like any other hormonal method of birth control. The cost varies depending on where the prescription is filled. Usually family planning clinics, like Planned Parenthood usually charge less than a private doctor’s office. Insurance may also cover it.

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