What is the birth control ring?
The birth control ring (AKA NuvaRing) is a safe, simple, and affordable birth control method that you wear inside your vagina. The small, flexible ring prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones into your body. The ring is really effective if you always use it the right way.
How does NuvaRing work?
The NuvaRing works by stopping sperm from meeting an egg (which is called fertilization). Like most birth control pills, the ring contains the hormones estrogen and progestin, which are similar to hormones our bodies make naturally. You wear the ring inside your vagina, where your vaginal lining absorbs the hormones.
NuvaRing’s hormones stop ovulation. No ovulation means there’s no egg hanging around for sperm to fertilize, so pregnancy can’t happen.
The ring’s hormones also thicken the mucus that lives on the cervix. Thicker cervical mucus makes it hard for the sperm to swim to an egg — kind of like a sticky security guard.
To get NuvaRing’s full birth control powers, you’ve got to use it correctly. Consider these tips to help you stay on schedule and remember when it’s time to put in a new ring:
Use a birth control reminder app or set a monthly alarm on your phone.
Note your ring removal and insertion days on your calendar.
Friends or family members who use the ring can be ring buddies and you can remind each other.
Your partner can help remind you.
Keep your replacement rings in the same place so you don’t lose them.
Store your rings at room temperature, and away from direct sunlight for up to 4 months (16 weeks). Put any rings that you won’t use within 4 months in the refrigerator.
Bottom line: do whatever works for you to make sure you change your ring on time every month.
Want to be extra super duper sure you don’t accidentally get pregnant? Also use a condom every time you have vaginal sex. That way you’ll also be protected against STDs.
Does the ring protect against STDs?
Nope. While NuvaRing is really good at preventing pregnancy, it won’t protect you from sexually transmitted infections.
Luckily, using condoms every time you have sex really lowers the chance of getting or spreading STDs. The other great thing about condoms is that they also protect against pregnancy, which means that using condoms + the ring gives you awesome pregnancy-preventing power.