Contraceptive rings are small, pliable, vaginally-inserted devices. They contain the same hormones as the pill and prevent pregnancy in a similar way.
- Same 99% rate of effectiveness as the pill
- Replaced every three weeks
- Favourable for those who don’t like daily tablets
To find out more about the contraceptive ring and whether it is suitable for you, we recommend you see your GP in person.
1 treatment(s) for Contraceptive ring
The contraceptive ring, known by its product name Nuvaring, is a pessary device made by Merck Sharp and Dohme. It is the only birth control treatment currently available in the UK which is supplied in this particular form. The ring is inserted into the vagina, and releases its dose gradually over a period of three weeks. It is then removed, and another is used to replace it after a week's rest period.
As it is only applied and removed at three week intervals, Nuvaring is seen by some as a more convenient and reliable form of contraception than regular pills. In the body, it performs a more or less identical function, by interfering with the process of ovulation, and making pregnancy less likely.
Every month, the ovary releases eggs which are then ripe for fertilisation by male sperm. Once successful contact has been made, the impregnated egg then journeys to the uterus, where it attaches to the uterine wall. It is here where the egg begins its development into an embryo.
The functioning substances in Nuvaring are ethinylestradiol and etonogestrel. These are synthesised versions of progesterone and oestrogen, biological hormones which regulate the monthly processes the body goes through in preparing for pregnancy. Collectively, they stop the ovary from generating an egg ready for insemination by sperm; alter the lining of the endometrium so that an egg is less able to adhere itself to the wall of the uterus; and amplify the density of cervical mucus, so that sperm are not as capable of movement inside the womb.
It is vital to be aware when buying medicine online of the rules and regulations trading pharmacies must follow, and the products they are allowed to sell. Nuvaring is at present only available as a branded treatment in the UK, and therefore no generic version has been licensed for use.
Nuvaring is not available to buy from our pharmacy. To be prescribed this item, we recommend you see your doctor or family planning nurse in person.
Types of Treatment
Nuvaring is one of the best known contraceptive rings on the market, and is produced by Merck Sharp and Dohne. Nuvaring is also the only contraceptive product of its kind currently available in the UK. The ring itself is small, around 5 cm in diameter and 4 mm thick, and made out of flexible plastic. It is designed to be inserted into the vagina and taken out after three weeks. After a week’s rest period, another ring is inserted and the treatment cycle is repeated.
How do they work?
Birth control rings work in an almost identical way to combined pills or patches. They contain a certain amount of synthetic hormones, which when released into the body helps to persuade it that ovulation has already taken place. This then means that the reproductive system does not produce an egg ready to be fertilised during the menstrual cycle.
What are the side effects?
As it contains the same active constituents, the side effects associated with Nuvaring are comparable to those of combined pills. Some of the more common among these being headaches, breast tenderness and slight abdominal pain. Refer to the patient information sheet for more on this.
Can I take them with other medications?
This product may interact with other medicines. It is important to let your prescriber know which prescription, non-prescription or remedial treatments you are using so that they can accurately determine whether or not this contraceptive method is suitable for you.
Our Nuvaring forum
What’s the difference between the medications?
Nuvaring contains the same hormones as the combined pill, and works in a very similar way. The main difference is in the way you apply it. Whereas oral contraceptives are taken every day, this ring is inserted and left to work for three weeks. It is then removed, and replaced by a new one a week later.
Should I use a ring or combined pills?
This depends on a range of factors, including your medical profile. Check with your doctor to find out which is the most suitable for you.
Are there different side effects?
The side effects associated with this treatment may slightly vary when compared to other hormonal contraceptive methods, but are mostly the same. Common side effects of this product include headache, feeling sick, and menstrual spotting or breakthrough bleeding. More comprehensive information can be found in the leaflet supplied.
Is it right for me?
Your GP or family planning nurse will be able to help you decide on the best form of contraceptive treatment. If you aren’t already using hormonal birth control, they will be able to initiate a prescription.
Please note that we do not provide Nuvaring via our online service.
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