What is the birth control ring?
The birth control ring (AKA NuvaRing) is a safe and convenient birth control method that works really well if you always use it correctly. You wear the small, flexible ring inside your vagina, and it prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones into your body. The ring has lots of other health benefits, too.
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How does NuvaRing work?
The NuvaRing works by stopping sperm from joining with an egg (which is called fertilization).
Like most birth control pills, the ring contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. These are similar to the hormones our bodies make naturally. You wear the ring inside your vagina, and you absorb the hormones into your body though your vaginal lining.
The hormones in NuvaRing 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 on your cervix. This thicker cervical mucus blocks sperm so it can’t swim to an egg — kind of like a sticky security guard.
To get NuvaRing’s full birth control powers, you have to use it correctly. Making a mistake — like forgetting to refill your prescription or not putting a new ring in on time — is the main reason why people might get pregnant when they’re using the ring.
Here are some ways to help make sure you use the ring correctly:
Use our birth control reminder app or set an alarm on your phone.
Add your ring removal/replacement days to your calendar.
Be ring buddies with friends or family members who also use NuvaRing, and help each other remember.
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). Keep 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, all the time.
Want to be extra super duper sure you don’t accidentally get pregnant? You can also use a condom every time you have penis-in-vagina sex. That way you’ll be protected against STDs, too.
Does the ring protect against STDs?
Nope. NuvaRing is really good at preventing pregnancy, but 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. Condoms also protect against pregnancy — so using condoms and the ring together gives you awesome pregnancy-preventing power.