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Pros and Cons of the NuvaRing

When it comes to preventing pregnancy, many women opt for hormonal birth control because it's easy to use and extremely effective. Aside from the pill, the NuvaRing is one of the more popular options. If you're considering switching to this form of birth control, you'll want to know the pros and cons.

Pros Cons
  • When used correctly, it's 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. That means you can be spontaneous and have sex without worrying about getting pregnant.
  • It's simple to use because you only have to think about it twice a month.
  • Most women say they can't feel it once inserted.
  • Since it releases a steady amount of hormones, women will notice fewer mood swings than if they were on triphasic birth control pills (where the hormone levels change every week).
  • If you decide you want to have children, once you stop using the NuvaRing, ovulation should return within 13 to 28 days.
  • It doesn't protect against STIs.
  • If you are uncomfortable touching yourself, you may have an issue inserting and removing the NuvaRing.
  • Some guys complain that they can feel it during sex.
  • It can slip out while straining to go to the bathroom or during sex, so you have to check it frequently to make sure it's still inside you.
  • If you smoke while using the NuvaRing, the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects is increased.
  • The risk of blood clots may be greater with the type of progestin in NuvaRing.
  • Combination hormonal contraceptives, like the NuvaRing, that contain both estrogen and progestin, can worsen conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and problems with cholesterol.
  • Hormonal contraceptives may increase your risk of stroke.

— Additional reporting by Alexis Nordby

Join The Conversation
doleychitown doleychitown 8 years
I've been on it for about 2 years and I love it. I switched from YAZ which made me crazy so the ring is perfect. It's true that some guys can feel it but taking it out before and inserting it (this sounds really graphic I'm sorry) after works for me. I recently got off it when I was no longer in a relationship and my body went through too many changes so I got back on it.
eilanie eilanie 8 years
i just started using the nuvaring, and im hoping it works for me because ive never been on any birth control and already have one kid. But i was wondering if its ok to feel the ring when you check in there. For example i dont have any problems with it slipping out or anything, it stays only in one place even after sex but is it ok if i can feel the tip of it? i mean even if i push it farther back it goes back to that place. And also im terrifeid of gaining wieght since i hera it sometimes happens with pills. But i havent heard anyone mention anything about that.
lattegoodness lattegoodness 8 years
So... I really like the ring, but the cost is making it not feasible to use! Why is it so expensive? I checked with Planned Parenthoods all over the place that are anywhere near me, and the cost is between $49 and $72! What gives? I got a Rx from the dr, and it was still $50 with my insurance. What a rip! :mob: Anyone else have this experience?
burkhart77 burkhart77 8 years
I wouldn't say you have to check it frequently to make sure it is in place. It is more like you have to check it after sex. I suppose every woman is different so its possible it doesn't stay in well for every woman. I used it for 1+ years before stopping to try and get pregnant. I loved this method of birth control, especially how soon it was out of your system if you wanted to try and get pregnant. And I was never very good at remembering to take the pill every day, so it was more reliable and convenient for me. I noticed no change in my libido, but did see the typical weight gain associated with other methods of BC. The risks of blood clots etc are definitely things to talk to your doctor about!
chic466 chic466 8 years
My experience with Nuva Ring I started Nuva Ring when I was 40 years old and got married not too long ago. I have two kids and they are in there late teens. My new husband does not want to have any kids, so I've been on Nuva Ring for two years because I was always really bad about remembering to take the pill so the Nuva Ring is GREAT for me and I love it!!! It's very convenient, being able to just forget about birth control for a month. But for some reason I think that I got a hold of a bad batch and I am having problem with them. If you have experienced the following symptoms, please consult with your doctor: Depression: because I thought that I was pregnant, so I hit an extreme low. The first time I used the ring I had itching, discharge, burning and yeast infection. Headaches, Mood swings, bloating, gas, cramps, emotional, pelvis pain, hair loss, my vision has change, constant fatigue and lack of motivation and I have gained about 20 pounds. I get headaches all the time. I'm CONSTANTLY tired, but I do have to get up to go to work. My experience the first time using the ring was an infections and burning and it went away after the second time I used it. I didn’t know the ring was the cause of the infections it until now. After two years I have been passing blood clots and bleeding know for three weeks, I even thought that I was pregnant and I lost the baby and for three days and I was very depress, afraid that I really miscarried a baby and on Friday I took a pregnancy test and it came negative. I made an appointment with my OB/GYM doctor and he also did a pregnancy test and it came negative and we didn’t know the reason why I was bleeding for so long and he also gave me medicine to stop the bleeding and also gave me iron pill for my anemic, since I lost so much blood. He told me he would do some test and find out why I am bleeding so much, so he did other test and schedule a Tran’s vaginal ultra sound sonogram test. The doctor found out that I have 3 fibroids in the uterus and the doctor suggested having D/C uterine scraping, so that I don’t get any cancer in my uterus. I talk with my husband and also decided to do a hysterectomy. Surgery went well, I am still here. I schedule the surgery on a Friday and back to work on Monday. Now I am concentrating on getting better and try to loose the weight. NOTE: I have read that soo many of you have problems in the libido or sex drive. I never had a problem in that department. I meet a great man and we both love having sex, before I started the Nuva Ring and during using the ring and after the operation have not lost the edge of having sex two to three times a day. I think many of just don’t find the time, too busy with work or busy with the kids, lost that loving feeling. I am too in love and love doing it. I hope this was helpful.
yarrella yarrella 8 years
I used NuvaRing for about a year. For my first cycle I was on it, I bled heavily nonstop the whole month. It was miserable, but I stuck it out and that cleared up. After that I didn't have any abnormal bleeding. I found the ring to be super convenient and effective. I didn't feel it once it was in, and the boyfriend never noticed it. However, the lasting side effect I had was depression. Because of that and the expense, I stopped taking the ring and we switched back to condoms. The depression vanished as though I'd flipped a switch. Much as I liked the convenience of the ring, it was not worth sacrificing my mental health. I won't be going back to it. I know other women who haven't had a single negative side effect from the ring, and love it. If I hadn't had side effects, I would have loved it too. Just be prepared -- they don't tell you that depression and mood swings can happen with the Ring, but it does happen to some women (you're changing your body's hormonal balance; OF COURSE it happens!).
HSailorMoon HSailorMoon 8 years
I am a huge of the Nuva Ring! My first birth control was the patch, when that was new... and I liked it, it worked, it was a bit tedious to keep checking etc... but hey~ no babies and it worked~ ;D (I even did the depo shot... a few times... but making the appointment each time, even if it was 3 months, was too much of a hassle for me) So when Nuva Ring came out... oh like I started trying it when I was a Senior in High school... late 2004 or late 2005, I fell in love with it! I still love the Nuva Ring. I have been using it ever since! I adore the idea that I only have to think about it 2 times a month... 1 time to put it in and the 2nd time to pull it out. It is so great~ Especially with my busy schedule, if I did not put alerts in my phone every week... in the days to put in and pull it out... I would probably forget! xD You totally do not feel it in you at all~ and mine has always stayed in perfectly! As a point, I alwayyyysss feel tampons, no matter how much I try to fix it... to no avail, but the ring is not a problem. Boyfriend has had no issue, he knows its there, because he felt it one time (and not by his penis).... but even during intercourse... never has popped out or been an issue! I love! I am a hugeeee Fan... No babies~ no health issues... easy as heck to use... and I just refilled my prescription yesterday.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Colleeninator & plus_2_kid -- That happened to me too. My bf pulled out (to change positions) and goes "what the heck is that" and the ring was sitting firmly around his penis!! Obviously I switched to the pill right after that, but we still make jokes about it!
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
Coleeninater - Back when I was single, I used to make the Ring Toss game joke when warning a new guy about it!!! It never happened though, LOL I can't believe it did to you. Did you reward your husband with 2L of Coke?
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
AWESOME AWESOME. 1) I used it for 5 years with NO side effects at all. 2) My man could feel it at first but it never bothered him after that. 3) BONUS - it got me to stop smoking!! yea!! 4) I lengthened it to 4 weeks in, 1 week out (this made it cheaper). Also, I got pregnant one month after I stopped using it. Faster than I expected for sure! I've used the Pill and the Depo shot. The Ring blew the other 2 out of the water.
RunninginBoston RunninginBoston 8 years
Autumn--I didn't know the implant was back on the market. That would be interesting to hear about! One of my friends just got the hormone IUD. I'll ask how she likes it, but I guess it'll take her a few months to decide. She said they didn't recommend the copper IUD for anyone who has heavy periods or bad cramps. It's mostly for people with medical conditions or on drugs that are incompatible with hormonal BC.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
I would like to see a pro's and cons of various IUD's as well, that'd be really interesting. I'm messing about with different forms of contraceptives at the moment and can't afford to go to the doctor to sit down for a while and have a decent chat without a set list of questions. (My doctors brilliant but the longer you're there the more you get charged) I'd also like to see one for the implant.
lalamommy lalamommy 8 years
My 17 month old daughter is my proof on how well the Nuvaring worked for me. After I had my daughter I was talking about birth control options to my doctor and she told me the Nuvaring was not that effective. I'm now on the Mirena and I absolutely love it! It stays in place for five years and I have no periods! My doctor also told me the only thing more effective than the Mirena was getting my tubes tied.
typhoid-ashley typhoid-ashley 8 years
I've been using the ring for four months, so not long compared to some. But I like it FAR better than the pill. My husband said I am less moody (I had to promise not to get mad to get a response out of him). He can feel it, but only sometimes he said. And he wouldn't even had mentioned it if I hadn't asked out of curiosity.
amloveaffair amloveaffair 8 years
hey dear sugar have you done one of these on an IUD? I'd be interested in hearing about that!
Colleeninator Colleeninator 8 years
I've used the Ortho-tri-cyclen (pill) and NuvaRing. On the pill, I had ridiculous mood swings, spotting, paralyzing cramps, tender breasts and NO libido to speak of. Oh yes, and I was on the pill for quite a while waiting for these side effects to go away, like they're expected to after 2-3 months. On NuvaRing, I had a libido again. No mood swings, cramping and breast tenderness only happened on my period (which is normal for me). Everything else was pretty much the way it was supposed to be. Couldn't feel it. Easier to keep track of. Once during sex, my husband DID pull out with it around his penis (like some kind of ring-toss game) but other than that, it never came out. The only thing I really have against it is that, since I stopped using NuvaRing, I've had small amounts of nipple-discharge, and the only explanation anyone can find for it is that the NuvaRing messed with my hormones. It doesn't seem to be doing any harm though.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Sorry, dear, but you're incorrect in saying that it can slip out easily! :oy: I'm disappointed, but not surprised, that you would spread such a misconception on your site.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
I love the ring! With my insurance, it's only $11/month, which is awesome. I've never, EVER had it fall out during anything (swimming, working out, sex, etc.) and it's great for me because my daily schedule is so irregular that it's impossible for me to remember the pill. I didn't gain any weight at all, and it's improved my cramps as well. I was definitely a little moody when I first started it but I'm totally fine now. It did decrease my sex drive a little but it might also just be that I've gotten busier, too. My boyfriend doesn't feel it at all and I'm rarely aware of it. Actually, the only problem I've had with it is that I'm usually so unaware of it that I'm more likely to forget to take it out at the end of the three weeks, which is really my fault for not being better about my calendar =/
RunninginBoston RunninginBoston 8 years
Ime77--Progesterone-only birth control can have side-effects too (bone loss, weight gain, ovarian cysts, etc.) But you're right, the important thing is to talk to your doctor and see what's right for you. Everyone is different. Women should make sure their doctor knows their family medical history as well as their own to help them choose the safest option. And don't be afraid to call your doctor if you have concerns. You are not wasting their time. It's their job.
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