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The birth control ring is safe for most people, but all medicines have some risks and side effects. Your doctor will help you figure out if the ring is safe for you.

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Is the NuvaRing safe?

There’s a good chance 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, and millions of people have used these hormones to safely prevent pregnancy for more than 50 years.

Who can’t use NuvaRing?

Like all medicines, NuvaRing isn’t for everyone.

Smoking and the birth control ring don’t always mix. If you’re over 35 and a smoker, don’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

  • breast cancer

  • 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 history.  They can help you decide if the ring is right for you.

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 estrogen can slightly increase your risk of certain health problems. These NuvaRing risks aren’t common and complications are rare, but they can be serious. These 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 medicines 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 if you do get pregnant and accidentally use the ring during the early part of your pregnancy, it won’t increase the chances of birth defects.

It’s important to remember that the chance of having any of these problems while using the birth control ring is really, really low for most people. 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

  • trouble breathing

  • 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 or doctor, like the ones at 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 estrogen in the ring may lower the amount and quality of your breast milk in the first 3 weeks of breastfeeding. If you’re nursing, wait at least 3 weeks after giving birth to start using the ring.

Your breast milk will contain traces of the ring's hormones, but it’s not likely that these hormones will have any effect on your baby. Talk with your nurse or doctor if you have any concerns about breastfeeding and birth control.

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The Ring

  • 91% effective

  • Costs up to $200, but can be $0

  • Prescription required

  • Change it once a month

The ring doesn’t protect you from STDs. Use a condom with your ring to help stop pregnancy and STDs.
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