Pregnancy Prevention: Put a Ring on It

When Beyonce sang, “Put a ring on it”, she certainly didn’t mean the NuvaRing! This is a contraceptive ring that women who want the benefits of convenient use, reversible effects, and effective contraception are using. Think of it as in-between option: You will get the effectiveness of birth control pills with the convenience of monthly insertion, in contrast with the daily use of pills.

But before you even use the contraceptive ring, here are the things that you should know about it. You have to consider whether it is, indeed, the right contraceptive method for your lifestyle, perhaps even for your partner.  

21-day Cycle

The small and flexible plastic ring should be inserted into your vagina once a month, particularly when you’re not menstruating. You will then be protected from unwanted pregnancies for the next 21 days (i.e., three weeks) for as long as you don’t remove it. You should remove it only after the 21-day period has elapsed to make way for your menstrual cycle.

While it’s in your vagina within the 21-day period, you have the assurance of its efficacy. Studies have shown that less than 1 in 100 women will get pregnant when it’s used properly.

But it isn’t designed to provide protection against sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS, and syphilis. You have to use condoms, among other safety precautions, in this case.  

If you have been on the pill, you shouldn’t feel any significant differences when you’re on the ring, so to speak. Both types of contraceptives work in the same way – by preventing your body from ovulating and by thickening the cervical mucus.

Most Women Can be Hitched on It

While being engaged isn’t for everybody for various reasons, most women can become hitched to the NuvaRing. Many of them actually consider the ring as a better alternative to pills, injections, implants, and intrauterine devices (IUD).  

But when you have one of the following conditions, you shouldn’t use the NuvaRing for safety reasons:

  • You have a history of heart attack, or stroke, or blood clots in your vein
  • You have migraine issues
  • You have severe liver issues
  • You have a history of breast cancer
  • You are more than 35 years old and you are a smoker

You should also ask your doctor about your suitability if you are breastfeeding, or you have underlying medical conditions, or you have experienced vaginal bleeding without diagnosis. You must also discuss your medications with your doctor as many of them can reduce the ring’s efficacy.  

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