Does The NuvaRing Work Right Away?

The answer depends on when you start using it.

Question

Does the NuvaRing start working to protect me from pregnancy immediately following reinsertion after my period or does it take a week to readjust every month?

Asked by CuriousCucumber On Apr 23, 2019

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Apr 24, 2019
Hand Holding Nuvaring with text overlay - does nuvaring work right away?

Overview

The NuvaRing, a combined hormone contraceptive ring, will provide protection from pregnancy as long as you begin using it on the first day of your cycle.

The following is from the 'Patient Information' section of the prescribing information for Nuvaring:[1]

First Day Start: Insert NuvaRing on the first day of your menstrual period. You will not need to use another birth control method since you are using NuvaRing on the first day of your menstrual period.
Nuvaring Patient Information

If you don't start NuvaRing on the first day of your menstrual cycle, it will not protect you from pregnancy immediately. You are recommended to use back-up contraception (such as condoms) for 7 days.

It is important to remember that the first day of your menstrual cycle is when menses (i.e. bleeding) occurs.

So, to sum it up:

  • Nuvaring will protect you from pregnancy immediately if you begin to use it on the first day of your menstrual cycle.
  • You need to use back-up birth control if you do not start on the first day if your menstrual cycle.

Other Situations

The above recommendations for Nuvaring and whether or not you need to use back-up birth control are for those that are not currently using hormonal birth control.

If you are using hormonal contraception (like pills, patches, implant, etc.), the recommendation on how to start Nuvaring changes.


Birth Control Pill (Combined Hormone) Or Patch To NuvaRing

You can start using Nuvaring on any day you are using these birth control methods.

For example, instead of taking your next birth control pill, insert the Nuvaring instead. This would begin a new cycle.

You could also finish out your month with your current birth control method and simply start using Nuvaring in at the beginning of your next cycle (i.e. at the time you would have started a new pack of pills).

As long as you don't start NuvaRing any later than the day you would start your next birth control pill (or patch), you will be immediately protected from pregnancy.

Progestin-Only birth control

If you are using progestin-only birth control (e.g. a 'minipill', IUD etc) you must use back-up birth control for 7 days.


After Each Month

To answer your question specifically, regarding whether or not it takes a week for Nuvaring to protect you from pregnancy after every month, the answer is no, it will continue to be effective as long as you use it as directed (leave in for 3 weeks, remove for 1 week and don't remove the ring for more than a 3 hour period during your cycle).

The Nuvaring delivers a constant dose of hormones, just like taking a daily birth control pill would. Removing it for the one-week period when bleeding occurs does not affect its contraceptive efficacy. Just be sure to insert the next ring on time (just like you need to start a new pack of birth control pills on time for them to work).[2]


Summary

If you begin NuvaRing on the first day of your cycle, it will work immediately to protect you from pregnancy. However, if you are switching from a progestin-only birth control method (e.g. a 'minipill), it is recommended by the manufacturer to use back-up birth control for 7 days.

Video Summary


References
  1. ^ Nuvaring Patient Information. Merck
  2. ^ The contraceptive vaginal ring. PubMed

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. 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! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

Recent Questions