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How Effective Is the Birth Control Ring?

When used correctly, the birth control ring (NuvaRing) is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. Correct use of the NuvaRing involves putting it into your vagina and leaving it in for three weeks, then removing it for a week before replacing it and starting the cycle again. If you don’t put in your new NuvaRing on time or the NuvaRing is out of your vagina for more than 48 hours when you’re supposed to have it in, the effectiveness will decrease.

Certain medications may also impact the effectiveness of the NuvaRing, such as:

  • Some medications used to treat HIV
  • Rifamate, Rifampin, and Rifampicin (antibiotics)
  • Some medications used to treat seizures or psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Griseofulvin (antifungal)

If you take any of these medications on a long-term basis, the NuvaRing may not be a good option for you.

The NuvaRing contains two hormones — etonogestrel, a progestin, and ethinyl estradiol, a form of estrogen. These hormones work together to preventing your body from ovulating. The hormones also thicken your cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to reach an egg.

In order to maintain the effectiveness of the NuvaRing, you’ll need to keep track of when to remove and replace it. Use a calendar or tracking app to note your ring removal and insertion days. Store the extra rings you’ll use within the next four months away from direct sunlight and at room temperature. Store any extra rings you won’t use within four months in the refrigerator.

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