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NuvaRing is a soft little piece of plastic that helps prevent pregnancy.

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Buy NuvaRing online: subscribe and stay protected

NuvaRing is a flexible piece of plastic you insert once a month to prevent pregnancy. It stays in place for three weeks and then you take it out for a one-week break. There are two hormones in the ring that are released into the body, so it works like the combined pill — just no daily alarms.

But what if contraception could be even more convenient? EveAdam offers a subscription service for many types of hormonal birth control, including NuvaRing. After an online consultation with a licensed prescriber, you’ll be able to buy NuvaRing online and get it delivered to you. Even better? You get refills on a schedule you set, so you don’t have to worry about running out of birth control again.

How does NuvaRing work?

NuvaRing is a relatively small, soft ring that sits in the vaginal canal. It releases versions of progesterone and oestrogen, two hormones that naturally occur in the body. These hormones change whether you ovulate and how menstruation happens. Or, to give it to you straight: NuvaRing is very, very good at preventing pregnancy.

Into details? We are too. Like we mentioned, NuvaRing changes how ovulation happens. In fact, it stops it. Since no egg is released by the ovary, it can’t be fertilised. NuvaRing also keeps the wall of the uterus from growing thicker with your cycle (thick wall = higher chance of pregnancy) but makes the mucus in your cervix grow thicker (thick mucus = lower chance of pregnancy) so sperm can’t get through. Both of these things make it less and less likely that an egg could be fertilised and, even if fertilised, that it could lead to pregnancy.

How effective is NuvaRing?

If you use NuvaRing exactly right, according to the instructions, it’s almost guaranteed to prevent pregnancy. If you make a mistake with it every now and again, the effectiveness drops a little, but it still gives a high level of protection.

With ‘perfect’ use of NuvaRing, it’s thought to be more than 99% effective.[1] In birth control terms, this means that less than one in 100 women using this method perfectly will fall pregnant in a year.

‘Typical’ use, which is a little closer to how it’s used in a realistic setting (forgetting occasionally to insert the ring on the right day for example) brings the effectiveness down to 91%. This means that nine in 100 women using it this way over 12 months will fall pregnant.[2]

The best way to ensure NuvaRing is as effective as possible is to follow the instructions as closely as you can.

Is NuvaRing better than the pill?

Women who don’t want the hassle of a pill every day may find NuvaRing a more low-maintenance option. It only needs to be inserted once a month and then taken out three weeks later, which saves a lot of time and remembering.

NuvaRing’s effectiveness is the same as the pill’s, but you could argue that it’s actually better. With less room for error (since you don’t have to remember it every day), you’re getting closer to ‘perfect’ use. 

Another added benefit of a contraceptive ring is that your protection levels don’t change if you’re sick and experience vomiting or diarrhoea. Because the pill is taken orally, what goes on with your digestive system can impact your protection. With NuvaRing? That stomach flu just got a little bit less stressful.

On the other hand, some people need an everyday routine in order to fit something into their life. So there’s not really a universally agreed upon “best” birth control. It’s all up to you and how you’d like to take it. 

Page reviewed by:
Dr Daniel Atkinson
Dr Daniel Atkinson
GP Clinical Lead
Visit author profile
Last updated 06/07/2021


How NuvaRing works

Each month, your body gets ready for pregnancy. The uterus grows a thicker lining to receive a fertilized egg, and an egg is released by the ovary in a process called ovulation. The reproductive cycle happens because of two hormones in the body, oestrogen and progesterone. Their levels rise and fall over the course of each month.

NuvaRing contains synthetic versions of these hormones. When they’re introduced to your body, certain steps in the reproductive cycle change. Ovulation doesn’t happen, the texture of the uterine wall doesn’t change, and mucus in the cervix thickens to block sperm from getting through.

Who can use NuvaRing?

Is NuvaRing safe?

How to buy NuvaRing online

How to use NuvaRing

NuvaRing is inserted into the vagina. We recommend you see your doctor or sexual health nurse in person before inserting NuvaRing for the first time, as it’s a little tricky and you want to make sure you’re doing it right. After that, you can insert it on your own — once you’ve gotten the hang of it, it shouldn’t take long at all. The patient information leaflet that comes with NuvaRing has more detailed info on how to insert it, but here’s the gist.

With clean hands, compress the ring between your thumb and fingers and carefully insert the tip inside the vaginal canal. Push higher until it’s firmly inside and you’re comfortable. You should be able to feel with your fingers that it’s still in place. 

NuvaRing must be removed after exactly three weeks. To remove it, clean your hands and hook the ring onto one of your fingers. Then gently pull it out. NuvaRing comes with a small bag you can use to discard it. Always dispose of your NuvaRing in the bin and not into the toilet. 

If you can’t find NuvaRing when it’s time to remove it, see a doctor. It isn’t possible for the ring to become lost inside the body, so don’t panic — you might just need a little help getting it out.

NuvaRing and the 7-day break

What are the most common side effects with NuvaRing?

All medications carry the potential risk of side effects. Knowing what they are helps you know what to do if you experience any of them. 

When you switch to a specific type of birth control or start using it for the first time, it’s quite common to get some initial side effects. A lot of the time, these go away on their own after a month or two of use.

The most common side effects women get with NuvaRing include abdominal pain, nausea, thrush or other yeast infections, vaginal discomfort caused by the ring, itching, vaginal secretion, headaches or migraines, depressive moods, lower sex drive, breast pain, pelvic pain, painful menstrual periods, acne, weight gain or the ring becoming dislodged and falling out. 

What should I do if I get side effects?

When should I see a doctor?

What are some alternatives to NuvaRing?

SyreniRing is very similar to NuvaRing and works in the same way. The main difference is that it’s not made by the same people (Crescent, as opposed to MSD who market NuvaRing). It’s not as widely known because it hasn’t been available for very long.

One advantage of NuvaRing over combined oral contraceptive pills is that you don’t need to take it every day. One ring lasts for three weeks out of each month.

But for women who don’t want to use a vaginal ring, the combined pill or the birth control patch may be a preferable option. They’re just as effective as the contraceptive ring, only you need to take the pill daily and change the patch weekly. So there’s a little more regular effort required.

What should I do if NuvaRing doesn’t work?

NuvaRing vs. SyreniRing: which is better?


Always read the patient information leaflet before taking this treatment.

Nuvaring leaflet

NuvaRing side effects

You can find more info on our combined hormonal contraception side effects guide.

Common side effects (affecting up to 1 in 10 people) of NuvaRing are abdominal pain, feelings of sickness, yeast infections such as thrush, discomfort in the vagina due to ring, genital itching, vaginal secretion, headache, migraine, depressive moods, lower sex drive, pain in the breasts, pelvic pain, painful menstrual periods and acne.

Uncommon side effects (affecting up to 1 in 100 people) of NuvaRing are visual changes or disturbances, dizziness, swollen abdomen, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, feeling tired or unwell, irritable, mood changes or swings, oedema, bladder infection or UTI, pain or difficult passing urine, the strong desire to pass urine, passing more urine than is normal, problems during intercourse, intercourse problems such as pain, bleeding or partner feeling the ring, increased blood pressure, increased appetite, back pain, muscle spasms, pain in the legs or arms, less sensitive skin, sore or larger breasts, cysts in the breasts which may swell or become painful, cervical inflammation or growths, menstrual period changes, pelvic discomfort, premenstrual syndrome, spasms of the uterus, vaginal infection, burning, smell, pain, discomfort or vaginal dryness, hair loss, eczema, itching, rash or flushes.

NuvaRing contraindications

NuvaRing with other medications


[1] NHS Choices (2019). Your contraception guide. [online] Available at:

[2] Sexwise (2021). Contraceptive vaginal ring. [online] Available at:

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