Does Nuvaring Work Immediately?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not Nuvaring begins to work immediately.


If I am switching from a combined birth control pill to nuvaring, will I be protected from pregnancy immediately if I start the nuvaring the day following my last inactive pill (the day I would be starting a new pack of pills)?

Asked by tonyro On Mar 07, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Mar 07, 2018

NuvaRing, a contraceptive vaginal ring, will begin to work immediately to prevent pregnancy as long as it is inserted on the first day of menses (i.e. first day of your cycle). In addition, it is immediately effective when switching from combined hormone birth control pills in most situations. Below, we discuss methods to start NuvaRing in more detail as well as whether or not you need to use back-up contraception.

Starting NuvaRing And Back-up Contraception Needs

No Prior Hormonal Contraceptive

If you are not currently on hormonal contraception:

  • You should insert NuvaRing vaginally on the first day of your menstrual cycle (i.e. the first day of menstrual bleeding).
  • If you do not insert NuvaRing on the first day of menses, you must use back-up birth control for the first 7 days of NuvaRing use.

Switching From Combined Oral Contraceptives

If you have been taking your combined oral contraceptives (pills containing both and estrogen and a progestin):

  • You may switch to Nuvaring at any point of your current birth control pack. In other words, start using NuvaRing on the day that you would be scheduled to take your next pill.
  • As long as you do not wait to use Nuvaring after stopping your combined oral contraceptive, you do not need to use back-up birth control. 
  • If you have stopped your combined oral contraceptives for more than 7 days before inserting your NuvaRing, you need to use backup contraception for 7 days if you are sexually active.

Switching From Progestin Only Oral Contraceptives

If you have been taking a progestin only birth control pill (i.e. "minipill"):

  • You may switch to NuvaRing on the first day of menses (i.e. after finishing your last active pill).
  • If you switch to NuvaRing on any day other than the first day of menses, you need to use backup contraception for 7 days if you are sexually active.


NuvaRing is a small, contraceptive ring and is considered a combined hormone birth control option. It contains both an estrogen and a progestin. Each NuvaRing contains:

  • Estradiol
  • Etonogestrel

NuvaRing is most commonly prescribed to be inserted for 3 weeks and removed for 1 week. It may be removed temporarily during the 3 active weeks, but it must be re-inserted before 3 hours have elapsed. If it has been more than 3 hours since it had been removed, back-up contraception may need to be used.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Office: 716-389-3076

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