NuvaRing is safe for most women, but all medicines have some side effects and risks. Your doctor will help you figure out if the ring is safe for you.
Is the NuvaRing safe?
Chances are NuvaRing will be totally safe for you — most people can use it with no problems. The hormones in the ring are the same ones in most birth control pills, which have been used to safely prevent pregnancy for more than 50 years.
Can I use NuvaRing?
Like any medication, NuvaRing isn’t for everyone.
If you’re over 35 and a smoker, you shouldn’t use NuvaRing or any other kind of birth control that contains the hormone estrogen.
Also avoid using the ring if you’ve had any of these health problems:
blood clots, an inherited blood-clotting disorder, or vein inflammation
heart attack, stroke, angina, or other serious heart problems
migraine headaches with aura (seeing flashing, zigzag lines)
uncontrolled high blood pressure
very bad diabetes or liver disease
Talk with your doctor or nurse about your health problems and risks. They can help you decide if the ring is right for you.
By the way, NuvaRing is totally latex-free, so it’s safe for people with latex allergies.
What are the risks of NuvaRing?
Even though NuvaRing is very safe, using a form of birth control that has hormones can slightly increase your risk of certain health problems. These NuvaRing risks aren’t common, but they can be serious. They include heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and liver tumors. In very rare cases, they can lead to death.
When you talk with your doctor about birth control, tell them about any medications you’re taking and any health problems you’ve had.
There’s a very small chance that you can get pregnant even if you always use the ring correctly. But accidentally using a ring early in pregnancy won’t increase the risk of birth defects.
It’s important to remember that for most people, the chance of having any of these problems while using NuvaRing is really, really low. In fact, pregnancy is more likely to cause serious health problems than NuvaRing. Your doctor or nurse can help you figure out which birth control method will be safest for you.
What warning signs should I know about?
Most people using NuvaRing won’t have any problems at all. But just in case, it’s good to know what the signs of a serious issue are.
See a doctor or nurse right away if you have:
sudden back/jaw pain along with nausea, sweating, or trouble breathing
chest pain or discomfort
achy soreness in your leg
severe pain in your belly or stomach
sudden, very bad headache
headaches that are different, worse, or happen more often than usual
aura — (seeing flashing, zigzag lines)
yellowing of your skin or eyes
You can always call a nurse, doctor, or your local Planned Parenthood health center if you have questions or you’re worried about any health issues.
Is it safe to use NuvaRing while breastfeeding?
The combination of estrogen and progestin in the ring may reduce the amount and quality of your breast milk in the first 6 weeks of breastfeeding. If you’re nursing, wait at least 6 weeks after giving birth to start using the ring.
Your breast milk will contain traces of the ring's hormones, but it’s unlikely that these hormones will have any effect on your baby. Talk with your nurse or doctor about any concerns you may have about breastfeeding and birth control.