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Birth Control Vaginal Ring

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Birth Control Vaginal Ring

writtenByWritten by: Mark Spera
Mark Spera

Mark Spera

Mark grew up in a family of healthcare providers and has always been fascinated by preventative medicine, infectious diseases and the intersection of big data and healthcare.

Read more posts by this author.
reviewBy Reviewed by: Dr. Katalin Karolyi

Dr. Katalin Karolyi

Katalin Karolyi, M.D. earned her medical degree at the University of Debrecen. After completing her residency program in pathology at the Kenezy Hospital, she obtained a postdoctoral position at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, Orlando, Florida.

October 1, 2021 Read Time - 3 minutes

What is a Birth Control Vaginal Ring?

The birth control ring (brand name NuvaRing) is a small, flexible, plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina to prevent pregnancy. It is an affordable and easy-to-use birth control option.

How Does the Birth Control Vaginal Ring Work?

Similar to many birth control pills, the birth control ring contains the hormones estrogen and progestin which mimic the hormones naturally produced by the body. These hormones are released from the ring and absorbed by the lining of the vagina and they work to stop ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovaries). Without an egg, pregnancy is not possible, making the birth control ring an effective birth control option.

Each birth control vaginal ring lasts for three weeks and they should be removed for a week to allow menstruation, then replaced on time every month. Because you can, in a way, “set it and forget it” each month, the birth control ring is a great option for those who don’t want to have to remember to take a pill each day. Many people even find that the hormones in the ring help to make their periods regular, lighten menstrual bleeding, and reduce the severity of menstrual cramps.

How Effective is the Birth Control Vaginal Ring at Preventing Pregnancy?

Remembering to replace the birth control ring on time and being sure to place it in the right position are two important factors in how effective the birth control ring will be at preventing pregnancy. Planned Parenthood states that, when used perfectly, the birth control ring is 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy. However, with typical use (that’s the way that most people use it in real life), the effectiveness is closer to 91 percent.

For maximum protection, the birth control ring can be used in combination with another type of birth control such as condoms. Condoms also offer protection from sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) which the birth control ring does not, so they compliment each other well.

Read about other non-hormonal birth control options like condoms here.

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How to Get a Birth Control Vaginal Ring

While the birth control ring is easy to get, you will need a prescription first.

Talk to a doctor about your birth control needs to make sure that the ring is the best choice for your needs. Depending on your insurance, you can expect to pay between $0 and $200 per month for the birth control ring.

However, most insurance plans will cover them completely making them free of cost to you!

If you’re interested in getting a birth control ring prescription, book an appointment to speak with a PlushCare doctor online

Read More About Birth Control


PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Mayo Clinic. Vaginal Ring. Accessed on October 1, 2021 at

Planned Parenthood. How effective is the birth control ring? Accessed on October 1, 2021 at

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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