How safe is NuvaRing?

The NuvaRing was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2001 for use in the United states of America (USA). Information from the NIH (National institute of Health) recommends that only non-smokers should have a EthinylEstradiol (EE) and Etonogestrel (ENG) ring fitted. The risk of side effects occurring in women who smoke or women who are over 35 years old is greatly increased.

What are the effects of NuvaRing on children and during pregnancy or breast feeding?

Studies on rats using contraceptive hormones at the levels used in NuvaRing have shown no effects on the developing embryos and no direct effect of causing cancers. However, NuvaRing use is not recommended or required during pregnancy and not recommended during breast feeding. During breast feeding hormones do leak into breast milk and the use of the NuvaRing may cause higher than usual hormone levels within your breast milk. Infants of mothers using NuvaRing whilst breast feeding have developed temporary side effects such as jaundice and breast enlargement. You may also find that breast milk quantity and quality is also reduced when using NuvaRing.

Can I use NuvaRing?

You should not use NuvaRing if you have:

  • Started breast feeding or are pregnant
  • A history of cardiovascular events (e.g. heart attack, heart valve or heart rhythm disorders, chest pain, stroke or Venous thromboembolism (VTE) (blood clots)) because changing and particularly lowering your oestrogen levels further increase the likely hood that you will experience heart disease by changing the way your blood may clot. Unfortunately several users have reported serious adverse side effects such as illness related to developing VTE.
  • Advanced hypertension (high blood pressure) or diabetes with effects relating to blood vessels. The hormones within NuvaRing may further increase your blood pressure or body’s fluid balance and aggravate your existing symptoms by affecting your kidney or liver function.
  • Liver disease or have previously become jaundiced after taking contraceptives because the hormones released may stimulate growth of liver cancer and adversely affect liver function. The hormones are also processed by your liver and reduced liver function may mean less of the hormone is processed or removed, building up and causing side effects or overdose.
  • Known or suspected breast, endometrial, vaginal, or cervical cancer or undiagnosed abnormal vaginal bleeding (that may be symptoms of cancer or dysfunction of the female reproductive system). Cases of breast and cervical cancer have been directly attributed to the use of combined contraceptives (contraceptives containing both oestrogen and progesterone) and symptoms may worsen with the use of NuvaRing. Although the use of combined contraceptives may decrease the chances of developing ovarian and endometrial cancer, using the contraceptive whilst cancer is already present may worsen your symptoms. For instance endometrial growth is dependent on oestrogen, therefore the progression of the cancers growth may be stimulated by the oestrogen within the contraceptive and likewise the growth of an ovarian cancer may be increased by both the oestrogen and progesterone from combined contraceptives.
  • Headaches with neurological manifestations.
  • An allergy to any components of the NuvaRing the hormones or the plastic (described earlier).
  • Are extremely overweight

You may be able to use NuvaRing if you suffer from other medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus) or lipid disorders. Check with your GP or doctor to make sure NuvaRing it is safe for you as an individual.

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