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Nuva Ring

Nuva Ring

What is it?

The Nuva Ring is a hormonal birth control that has two types of hormones in it, estrogen and progesterone. When used perfectly it is 99% effective although with typical use it can be as low as 92% effective.  The ring is a flexible nearly transparent ring that measures about 2 inches across. It is inserted into the vagina for three weeks and then removed for one week. Once you insert the ring it takes 7 days for it to help prevent pregnancy unless you start on the first day of your menstrual period.  Use condoms during this first week to prevent pregnancy. If you take the ring out early or forget to insert a new ring after one week with it out you may be at risk of pregnancy, follow instructions on the product monograph or call us at the Youth Clinic (250)-383-3552 for instructions. You may need to take emergency contraception and have to use condoms for a while.

How does it work?

The Nuva Ring works by preventing the ovary from releasing an egg, thickening the cervical mucus making it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg, and changing the lining of the uterus making implantation difficult.


• Effective and reversible

• No daily regime

• Regulates menstrual cycle and reduces menstrual cramps

• Decreases acne and hirsutism

• Reduces the risks of endometrial and ovarian cancers

• Decreases premenstrual symptoms

• May be used continuously to miss periods


• May cause irregular bleeding or spotting

• Ring may fall out (this happens rarely)

• May cause breast tenderness, nausea, or headaches, vaginal discomfort or tenderness, or decreased sex drive, and weight gain

• May increase the risk of blood clots, particularly in women who have certain blood disorders,  a family history of blood clots or migraines with focal neurological symptoms

• Call your doctor or go to the nearest medical treatment centre if you have any of the following symptoms of blood clots while taking the Nuva Ring:

  1. A – Abdominal pain, severe
  2. C – Chest pain (severe), cough, or shortness of breath
  1. H – Headache (severe) or increased frequency or intensity of headache, dizziness, weakness, or numbness
  2. E – Eye problems: vision loss or blurring, speech problems
  3. S – Severe leg pain in calf or thigh

• Effectiveness may be reduced by other medications:  Rifampin, Rifabutin, and Griseofulvin, some anti convulsants (Barbituates; Oxcarbazepine; Primidone; Phenytoin; Carbamazepine; Toprimate; Lamotrigine and Vigabatin), certain antiretroviral therapies, protease inhibitors, lamotrigine, and St. John’s Wort. Theophylline, tricyclic antidepressants, diazepam or lithium may need dosage adjustments.

• Should not be used by women over the age of 35 who smoke

• Does not protect against STIs


Combined Hormonal Contraceptives: Decision Support Tools (Feb 2014). College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia. Publication 691.

Vaginal Contraceptive Ring (Nuva Ring). Sexuality and U, SOGC. Retrieved October 2015.

Island Sexual health Society. Retrieved October 2015.

Contraceptive Use Among Canadian Women of Reproductive Age: Results of a National Survey (2009).

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