The NuvaRing vaginal ring is a combined hormonal contraceptive, with a low dose of oestrogen and a type of progestogen that is similar to the one that's used in the implant. The vaginal ring may help control bleeding and improve side effects that you may find on the implant or mini pill, or with combined pills with higher doses of oestrogen. Despite what you might think - you can have sex with it in! You can buy the NuvaRing directly from us and our medical professionals at The Lowdown.
What is in the NuvaRing?
Alternative to NuvaRing
This contraceptive sits in Group 1 and has the same hormonal ingredient as:
Yes. You can buy NuvaRing online at The Lowdown without needing to see a doctor in person. You can order from us here and we will ask you some questions based on your medical history. Your request will be reviewed by a medical professional, and approved if the vaginal ring is the best option for you.
We’ll post the ring out to your door with speedy delivery (don’t worry - it’s all in discreet packaging!) You can then insert it yourself at home (we’ve also got a guide to help you with that if you’re unsure).
Do I need a prescription to buy the vaginal ring?
No, you don’t need a prescription from a GP in order to get NuvaRing from us. To keep you safe and minimise the risk, all our orders are reviewed and approved by healthcare professionals before we send them out. If you’re unsure if NuvaRing is the right contraceptive for you, try our free compare contraception tool or speak to one of our women’s health doctors for confidential advice.
Once approved you can buy either a one-off supply or a continuous subscription from us. We’ll always send the ring to you before you run out. Read more about our contraception prescriptions here.
What information will you need from me?
We will need the following information before you order from us:
Your age/date of birth (as you must be 18+ to order with us). Your weight and height
Your blood pressure, Any medical problems or allergies you may suffer from, your regular medications and your family history.
How much is NuvaRing?
You can order the NuvaRing at The Lowdown from £49 for a 3 month subscription, or pay £55 for a one-off supply.
Who can use NuvaRing?
Anyone up to the age of 50 can use NuvaRing. For the majority of people, NuvaRing is safe to use. However, as it is a type of combined hormonal contraception, there are certain medical conditions that may put a person at risk of problems including - blood clots, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Similarly to the combined contraceptive pill, women who have migraine with aura, a BMI over 35 or certain medical conditions should not use the NuvaRing. To make sure the NuvaRing is safe for you, we will ask you to complete a questionnaire and assess your individual risk before it is prescribed.
How easy is it to insert?
The NuvaRing can be similar to inserting a menstrual cup or a diaphragm. We’ve provided lots of tips and a helpful video in our comprehensive guide on how to insert the vaginal ring.
Will my partner feel my NuvaRing during sex?
There's a small chance that you or your partner will be able to feel the NuvaRing during sex, however if it is inserted correctly then it's likely you won't feel anything. If you can feel it, you may need to push it further into your vagina but if the issue persists then it's worth checking with your GP or another healthcare professional to make sure that it's correctly inserted.
Should I be able to feel my NuvaRing with my finger?
Yes - you should always be able to remove or adjust your NuvaRing with your finger.
Can the NuvaRing cause weight gain or loss?
There's no clear link between combined hormonal contraceptives, like the NuvaRing, and weight gain or loss. Weight changes can occur for a number of reasons, however, more research on the effects of contraception is needed to provide a concrete answer. You can also take a look at our guide to contraception and weight to find out more.
Will I get my period on the NuvaRing?
Spotting or 'breakthrough bleeding' typically occurs in the first few months of taking combined hormonal contraception. So whilst it can be a pain and ruin a few pairs of pants - there's no need to worry. If you have been using the vaginal ring for more than 3 months and your spotting is continuing, or you are experiencing new or irregular bleeding then contact your doctor or nurse for advice. You may be asked to do a pregnancy test or STI test and go in for an examination.
If you use your vaginal ring for 21 days and then have a break of up to 7 days you will likely have a withdrawal bleed which is similar to a period where the womb lining sheds in response to a drop in hormones. Some people may experience very light bleeding or no bleeding at all during the break. If you use the vaginal ring back to back (without a break) you can avoid having a withdrawal bleed but may experience spotting or breakthrough bleeding. This is similar to continuous pill taking with the combined pill. Find out more in our guide to continuous pill taking.
What are the pros and cons of a NuvaRing?
The pros of the NuvaRing include the fact that unlike the pill, you don't need to remember to take it everyday and only need to change it every 3 weeks. As it's a combined method, you may experience some of the benefits of the combination of oestrogen and progestogen: it can help with acne, lighten your bleeds, enable you to control your cycle and help manage conditions like premenstrual syndrome (PMS), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis.
Some of the downsides of the NuvaRing are that you may find it a bit tricky to insert when you first start using it, and there's a small chance you or your partner may be able to feel it during sex. Check out the side effects section above for possible side effects with vaginal ring use. There is also a slightly higher increased risk of blood clots from the vaginal ring vs. other methods of contraception. You can find out more about the risks associated with the vaginal ring by checking out the 'Is It Safe' section or read more about blood clots and the NuvaRing.
How the NuvaRing works:
The NuvaRing is a small soft plastic ring that you place inside your vagina for 3 weeks (21 days) at a time. It releases the hormones oestrogen and progestogen into the bloodstream. It prevents pregnancy in three ways – by stopping ovulation, making the fluid in your cervix thicker (which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb), and preventing the lining of your womb thickening enough for a fertilised egg to implant into it.
How to use the NuvaRing:
When inserting the NuvaRing, make sure you have just washed your hands.
Then squeeze the ring between your thumb and forefinger and gently insert the tip into your vagina.
You should push it into your vagina so it feels comfortable - it should be far enough inside you so that you don't feel it, towards your cervix, like a tampon.
After 21 days, you remove the ring and have a 7 day ring-free break. In this break you may have a withdrawal bleed (like a period).
Remove the ring by gently hooking a finger around the ring and gently pulling it down and out of the vagina.
You then put in a new ring for another 21 days. You may wish to shorten the break between taking your ring out and starting a new one, or have no break at all to avoid a withdrawal bleed.
For more information on the NuvaRing, you might like to take a look at our comprehensive guide.
Coming off the vaginal ring is easy - you just stop using it. When you do this you’re no longer protected from pregnancy. If you want to stop using the ring but do not wish to become pregnant then you should consider switching to another form of contraception before you stop. If you have unprotected sex and stop the ring before you have used it for 21 consecutive days you may ovulate (release an egg from the ovary) and could become pregnant.
How safe is the NuvaRing:
The NuvaRing is a safe form of contraception. However, like with all combined hormonal methods containing oestrogen there is a small risk of developing blood clots in your veins and arteries. It may also increase your blood pressure. Your doctor will check your individual risk before prescribing the ring to you. Use of the ring is also associated with small increased risks of breast cancer and cervical cancer. These reduce with time after stopping. It's also important to remember that vaginal ring does not protect you from STIs.