NuvaRing is a vaginal ring contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy. It contains ethinyl estradiol and etonogestrel, two female hormones used to keep ovulation, or an ovary's release of an egg, from occurring. The above hormones additionally make it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and also make it harder for an egg that has been fertilized to implant within the uterus; this is achieved through changes in the cervical mucus and uterine lining caused by NuvaRing.

Important Information About NuvaRing

NuvaRing can potentially cause birth defects, and should not be used if you are pregnant. Inform a doctor if you become pregnant, and discontinue use immediately. NuvaRing should not be used if you have certain types of cancers, a history of blood clots, strokes, or jaundice. Avoid NuvaRing if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding, liver diseases, migraines, high blood pressure, or heart disorders.

Always follow the instructions of your doctor. When you start using NuvaRing, you may need a back-up birth control, like spermicide or a condom. However, do not use a diaphragm with NuvaRing. The ring must be worn for 3 weeks, followed by 1 week without the ring; the timing is crucial for the contraceptive to work effectively as birth control. Remember the NuvaRing does not prevent pregnancy if only used during intercourse.

Before Using NuvaRing

Use of the NuvaRing during pregnancy may result in birth defects; do not use the contraceptive if you are pregnant, and tell your doctor immediately if you become pregnant. If you are allergic to ethinyl estradiol or etonogestrel, do not use NuvaRing.

If you have any of the conditions described below, tell your doctor before using the ring. Conditions include diseases of the heart, kidney, or gallbladder, a history of depression, irregular periods, toxic shock syndrome, breast diseases, diabetes, seizures, prolapses in the uterus, bladder, or rectum, severe constipation, high cholesterol, or migraines.

Birth control hormones such as those contained in NuvaRing may be passed through the mother into breast milk and have harmful effects on a nursing baby. NuvaRing should not be used by breast-feeding women.

When Using NuvaRing

NuvaRing should be used exactly as prescribed. It should not be used in larger or smaller amounts, or for longer than your doctor recommends; carefully follow the directions on the prescription label for safe and effective use.

The NuvaRing vaginal ring should be used for 3 full weeks, then removed for 1 full week, during which your period will occur. Store the NuvaRing package away from light, heat, and moisture at room temperature.

In Case of Missed Dosage

If the NuvaRing falls out during the 3 full weeks of wearing time, it may be reinserted. Do not leave a ring out of the vagina for more than 3 hours. If this occurs during the first 2 weeks of wearing time, the ring may not prevent pregnancy. If it occurs during week 3 of wearing time, you may wear a new ring and begin a new 3 week wearing cycle, or choose to have a menstrual period before beginning a new ring. Consult your doctor if you forget the schedule for using and not using the ring.

In Case of Overdose

Immediately seek emergency medical attention for suspected overdoses. Symptoms may include vomiting, nausea, or vaginal bleeding.

Things to Avoid While Using NuvaRing

While using NuvaRing, avoid smoking, particularly if over 35 years of age, as smoking may increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots that are sometimes caused by use of hormonal contraceptives. As with all non-condom forms of contraception, NuvaRing does not protect women from sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV or AIDS. The use of a condom is the only known way of protection from sexually transmitted diseases when having intercourse.

Do not combine use of NuvaRing with a diaphragm in effort to have a back-up form of birth control; as NuvaRing is a vaginal ring, it may prevent the diaphragm from being placed and positioned correctly within the vagina. The use of vaginal lubricants, spermicides, and treatments for yeast infection should not interfere with NuvaRing. However, talk with your doctor before using such products with NuvaRing.