Hormonal Contraceptive Ring (Nuvaring)

What is it?

The hormonal contraceptive ring or Nuvaring is a small, flexible plastic ring that contains estrogen and/ or progesterone depending on the brand name. The ring is inserted into your vagina close to your cervix where it remains for 3 consecutive weeks.

How do you use it?

  • Insert the Nuvaring on the first day of your period. To insert the ring, squeeze it between your thumb and index finger so that it makes an oval shape. Gently insert the ring into your vagina as high as possible. (The exact position of the ring is not important for the ring to work.)
  • Remove the ring after 3 weeks and do not insert a new one for the next week. This is when you will have a period.
  • Insert a new ring at the end of the ring-free week.
  • To remove: Put a finger into your vagina and pull the hormonal contraceptive ring out

Where can you get it?

The hormonal contraceptive ring is available at pharmacies with a prescription from a healthcare provider. You can also get the ring at the Sexual Health Centre at 179 Clarence Street.

How much does it cost?

The ring costs $30/month at most pharmacies. The Sexual Health Centre at 179 Clarence Street also provides the contraceptive ring at the discounted rate of $10.

How effective is it?

The ring is 92% effective with typical use.

Does it reduce the risk of STIs?

No. The hormonal contraceptive ring does not reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Reasons someone might choose this method of birth control

  • Contains a lower dosage of hormones that are often found in many combined hormonal contraceptives
  • Does not interrupt sex
  • Inserted only once a month

Reasons someone might not choose this method of birth control

  • If you are not comfortable inserting objects into your vagina, this may not be the best method of contraception for you.
  • There is a chance it may slip out of the vagina. If this happens, rinse the ring with lukewarm water and reinsert it.
  • If the ring is out of the vagina for more than 3 hours, it may not be immediately effective. You should use a backup method of contraception such as condoms and spermicide for the next 7 days.

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