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Vaginal Ring aka Nuva Ring Possible Side Effects

Learn about the possible side effects of the vaginal ring, aka the Nuva ring, in this Howcast video about birth control.


The NuvaRing is a highly effective and safe form of birth control. It's a plastic ring that has estrogen and progesterone. You take that plastic ring and put it into your vagina, where the vagina will absorb those hormones and prevent you from getting pregnant.

The NuvaRing is placed into your vagina by the patient, you, the patient, and is kept in the vagina for 21 days. The hormones are absorbed during that time to prevent pregnancy, and after 21 days you remove it.

During that seven day interval you should be getting your period. After seven days, you replace the NuvaRing with a new one, and this cycle goes on and on, until you decide to stop.

Although it is an excellent form of birth-control and one of my favorites, there are some side effects that you need to be mindful of. When you first start the NuvaRing, you may experience some irregular bleeding. This irregular bleeding usually gets better after two or three cycles of using the NuvaRing. You may experience some headaches, and you may experience some nausea. The headaches and the nausea may go away after the first two or three rings. However, if the headaches are associated with visual disturbances, you need to stop using the NuvaRing and call your doctor immediately.

The NuvaRing does have a slight increase risk of blood clot formation, just like other forms of birth control like the pill and the the patch. The signs of blood clot formation that you need to be mindful of are severe headaches, chest pain, shortness of breath, leg pain and leg swelling, and abdominal pain.

Now, while I'm telling you that these side effects are something to be mindful of, it is extremely rare. It is less likely for you to have these side effects by using the ring than if you get pregnant. These side effects are not the reason to consider other birth control options. While these side effects are a possibility, it is extremely rare and much less than your risk associated with pregnancy.

So, if you're considering the NuvaRing, please give your doctor or your nurse practitioner a call, discuss your options for birth control, and see if the NuvaRing is a good option for you.

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