Nuva-Ring

(NuvaRing 0.12mg/0.015mg per day vaginal delivery system)

Simply it is a form of low-dose hormonal contraceptive and works like the pill but instead of taking a tablet every day, the Nuva-ring is a small plastic ring that fits inside the vagina.

It is a combined hormonal contraceptive, this means that it contains two synthetic hormones similar to oestrogen and progesterone that help to control a woman’s menstrual cycle. These hormones are slowly released into the vagina and prevent the release of eggs from the ovary.

How is it used?

Nuva-ring is left inside the vagina for three weeks in a row. Then, as with the pill, you will have a week off. During this break you will usually have a withdrawal bleed (similar to a light period). Once the week break is over you will start the cycle again – Inserting a new ring for three weeks. Remember, hormonal contraceptives are very effective but will only prevent a pregnancy if they are taken and used properly.

You will be shown how to insert the ring, so don’t worry – it is quick and very easy. However, it is important that you get in the habit of regularly checking to feel that the ring is still in place inside your vagina. If the ring accidentally falls out for more than three hours, or breaks it will not be fully effective.

The Nuva-ring is relatively new to this country and at present you can only get it on prescription. So you will have to make an appointment with a contraceptive nurse at your local CASH clinic, click here to find the nearest to you.

The chemists tend not to stock it as routine due to low uptake. The main reason for this is that storage in a fridge is required for clinics and pharmacists, the patient/client can then store it at room temperature but it only has a shelf life of 3 months, therefore requiring more visits for supplies. (We usually give 6-9 months of some other methods).

As with all forms of hormonal contraception the Nuva-ring does not provide protection against sexually transmitted infections only pregnancy.

Pros.

  • Extremely effective in preventing pregnancy
  • Don’t have to remember to take a pill daily
  • Is discreet and can’t be seen
  • Easy to use and remove by yourself
  • If inserted on the first day of your menstrual cycle it is effective immediately

Cons.

  • If it falls out for more than 3 hours it is not effective
  • Needs to be checked regularly by yourself
  • Involves touching your genitals intimately to insert, check and remove which some women find embarrassing (although they shouldn’t – it is your body and perfectly natural)
  • Is not stocked everywhere as it is so new (this will improve over time however)
  • Will need more visits to pick up prescription as only given 3 months supply at a time.
  • Does not protect against STIs

For more information about contraceptives it is always best to discuss your options with a contraceptive nurse. To book an appointment and find your local clinic click here…

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