What Is NuvaRing (Ethinyl estradiol and etonogestrel)?
NuvaRing is a ring that's inserted in the vagina to prevent pregnancy. It contains the drugs ethinyl estradiol and etonogestrel, which are female hormones.
The device is only available with a doctor's prescription.
It works by preventing the release of an egg from the ovaries and by changing the cervical mucus in the uterine lining, which makes it harder for a fertilized egg to attach to it.
The drug is manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001.
NuvaRing may increase your risk of breast cancer, liver cancer, heart attack, stroke, toxic shock syndrome (TSS), or serious blood clot. Talk to your doctor about these risks.
Smoking while taking hormonal contraceptives can increase the chances of serious or life-threatening side effects, especially among women over 35 years of age who smoke 15 or more cigarettes a day. Don't use NuvaRing if you smoke.
The medicine may also increase your risk of developing liver tumors that are not cancerous. However, these tumors can break and cause serious bleeding in the body.
Before using NuvaRing, tell your doctor if you have or have ever had:
Also, tell your physician if you're on bed rest or are unable to walk for any reason before taking this medicine.
NuvaRing may cause skin discoloration. Avoid unnecessary sun exposure, sunlamps, and tanning beds while using this medicine.
This medicine is effective at preventing pregnancy, but it doesn't stop the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
If you're having surgery, including a dental procedure, tell your doctor or dentist that you're using NuvaRing.
Don't use a diaphragm while your NuvaRing is inserted.
If you wear contact lenses and notice vision changes while on NuvaRing, see an eye doctor.
According to drugwatch.com, more than 1,500 people have filed federal lawsuits against NuvaRing's manufacturer because they claim the company failed to alert consumers about possible risks.
In 2014, Merck agreed to pay 0 million to settle the suits.
Pregnancy and NuvaRing
NuvaRing can cause birth defects. Don't use this medicine during pregnancy.
Call your doctor immediately if you become pregnant or miss two menstrual periods in a row while using NuvaRing.
If you've recently had a baby, wait at least four weeks before starting on NuvaRing.
The hormones in NuvaRing can pass into breast milk and may cause harm to a breastfeeding baby. Don't use this medicine while breastfeeding.
NuvaRing Side Effects
Common Side Effects of NuvaRing
Tell your doctor if any of the following side effects become severe or don't go away:
- Redness, swelling, burning, itching, irritation, or infection of the vagina
- Yellow or white vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding when it's not time for your period
- Runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Stomach cramps or bloating
- Changes in appetite
- Facial hair growth
- Loss of hair on scalp
- Breast changes
- Changes in sex drive
NuvaRing and Weight Gain
NuvaRing, like most hormonal contraceptives, can cause weight gain.
A 2007 study in the journal Contraception found weight gain among NuvaRing users was about the same as it was among those who used oral contraceptives.
Another study published in Therapeutics and Risk Management showed a slightly higher weight gain in women who used NuvaRing.
Most women who gain weight on hormonal contraceptives are able to lose it after a short amount of time.
Serious Side Effects of NuvaRing
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
- Pain in the back of the lower leg
- Sudden, sharp, or crushing chest pain
- Chest heaviness
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
- Sudden speech problems
- Sudden severe headache, vomiting, fainting, or dizziness
- Sudden loss of vision
- Double vision, blurred vision, or other vision changes
- Bulging eyes
- Weakness or numbness in an arm or leg
- Yellowing of the eyes or skin, especially when accompanied by fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine, or light-colored bowel movements
- Depression, especially when accompanied by fatigue, sleeping trouble, loss of energy, or other changes in mood
- Tenderness, swelling, or pain of the abdomen
- Stomach pain that gets worse after eating
- Frequent or painful urination
- Swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Brown patches on the skin
- Vaginal bleeding when it's not time for your period that lasts longer than a few days or happens in more than one cycle
Tell your doctor about all prescription, non-prescription, illegal, recreational, herbal, nutritional, or dietary drugs you're taking before using NuvaRing, especially:
NuvaRing and Grapefruit
Consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking this medicine may change the amount that's absorbed by the body.
Avoid grapefruit products while on NuvaRing.
NuvaRing is typically placed in the vagina and left there for three weeks. After three weeks, it's removed for a one-week break. Then, a new ring is inserted.
Follow the instructions on your prescription label carefully when inserting the ring. Use it exactly as directed.
Never use more than one ring at a time.
Insert and remove NuvaRing on the same day of the week at about the same time of day.
Your doctor will tell you when to insert your first NuvaRing.
Your menstrual period will likely start two to three days after you've removed the ring. Make sure you insert your new ring at the end of the week on the same day and time you typically insert or remove it, even if you haven't stopped bleeding.
NuvaRing will work no matter how it's positioned. However, it will probably be more comfortable and less likely to fall out if you place it as far back in the vagina as possible.
If your ring slips out, rinse it with cool or lukewarm water and replace it in your vagina as soon as possible.
If your ring falls out and gets lost, replace it with a new ring and remove the new ring at the same time you were scheduled to remove the lost ring.
If you don't replace the ring within three hours, you might need to use an additional method of birth control until it's been in place for seven days.
Call your doctor if your NuvaRing slips out of your vagina often. It will usually stay in place until you remove it.
If you suspect an overdose or serious side effects occur, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.
You can get in touch with a poison control center at (800) 222-1222.
Missed Dose of NuvaRing
If you forget to insert a new NuvaRing one week after you've removed the old ring, you may become pregnant.
Test yourself: If you're not pregnant, insert a new ring as soon as you remember and use a backup birth control method until the new ring has been in place for seven days in a row.
If you forget to remove NuvaRing on time but remember before one week has passed, remove NuvaRing as soon as you remember. Then, wait one week and insert a new ring.
If you forget to remove NuvaRing on time but remember after one week has passed, you might not be protected from pregnancy.
If you're not pregnant, remove the ring as soon as you remember, wait one week, and insert a new ring.
Use a backup birth control method until the new ring has been in place for seven days in a row.
Video: ⚪ My Nuvaring Experience + Burning Questions Answered!
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