HOW does the Ring work? The Ring (NuvaRing®) requires a doctor's examination and a prescription. Like the Patch, it releases synthetic estrogen and progestin (hormones) into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. These hormones stop ovaries from releasing eggs.
HOW is the Ring USED? The Ring is inserted in the vagina (like a diaphragm, but without the "barrier") and stays in place for 3 weeks. You then remove it for a week to allow your period to start, then put a new one in for the next three weeks.
Benefits to using the Ring: The Ring is easy to use. It doesn't interrupt sex. (That means if you are about to have sex you don't have to stop and use this form of birth control before you can continue.) Unlike the Pill, you don't have to remember to use it every day. It's also an extremely effective method of birth control.
Concerns connected to using the Ring: Certain drugs used in mental illness, seizures can make the Ring less effective. Anti-fungals will not affect the Ring's effectiveness.
The down side to using this method: Possible side effects that usually clear up after two or three months of use include bleeding between periods, weight gain/loss, sore breasts, nausea, mood swings. Other possible side effects included increased vaginal discharge, vaginal irritation or infection.
Effectiveness: "More effective" than the Pill. Over one year, for every 100 women using the Pill, 8 will become pregnant with typical use. Fewer than 1 in 100 will become pregnant using the Ring with perfect use.
Costs for the Ring: The cost of the first visit and/or examination, if needed, ranges from about $35-$125. At some family planning clinics, the cost may depend on your income. The Ring costs between $30 and $35 a month. The cost is usually lower at a clinic, and is covered by Medicaid.
Learn More: Check out the Planned Parenthood web site for much more information about the Ring.
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last updated January 30, 2008
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