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What Are the Side Effects of Using a Birth Control Ring?

The birth control ring (NuvaRing) is a flexible method of birth control with similar side effects to hormonal birth control pills that is switched out every month. The ring is placed in the vagina for three weeks and is then removed for one week. At the end of the fourth week, you replace it with a new ring.

The birth control ring is a newer way of administering the same medication that women have been using for almost half a century. Side effects associated with NuvaRing are essentially the same as those of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Some common side effects of NuvaRing include:

  • Acne.
  • Weight gain.
  • Increased vaginal discharge.
  • Vaginal discomfort if the birth control ring slips out and has to be inserted again.
  • Pain, itching, rash or irritation of penis experienced by partners of women using NuvaRing.
  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Changes in mood. NuvaRing is not recommended for patients with a history of depression.
  • Tenderness or discomfort in breasts and/or breast discharge.
  • Pain in the abdomen or during menstruation.
  • Decreased libido.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

If you experience irritation at the site of insertion including the vagina and cervix, you should contact your healthcare provider. NuvaRing can be safely used by women allergic to latex, as it is latex free, but some women may experience allergic reactions such as facial swelling. If this occurs, please remove the Nuvaring and inform your doctor immediately.

Keep in mind that not every woman will experience these symptoms. Each woman’s body responds differently. It is important to consult your doctor on certain factors such as weight, history of smoking, and age, all of which can affect the occurrence of side effects. If you are experiencing some of the common side effects of NuvaRing and are interested in other forms of birth control, our Nurx medical providers can help you find what’s best for you.

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