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The Ring (NuvaRing): Side Effects, Benefits and FAQs

Side Effects

The Positive

Positive “side effects”? You bet. There are actually lots of things about birth control that are good for your body as well as your sex life.

  • Easy to use—it’s just like putting in a tampon
  • Doesn’t interrupt the heat of the moment
  • Might give you shorter, lighter periods
  • May clear up acne
  • Can reduce menstrual cramps and PMS
  • Offers protection against some nasty health problems, like endometrial and ovarian cancer, iron deficiency anemia, ovarian cysts, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Annovera lasts a whole year—longer than monthly methods like the pill, patch, and the NuvaRing—which means you don’t have to worry about refills for a whole year.

The Negative

Everyone worries about negative side effects, but for most women, they’re not a problem.* Remember, you’re introducing hormones into your body, so it can take a few months to adjust. Give it time.

Things that will probably go away after two or three months:
  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Breast tenderness
  • Nausea and vomiting
Things that may last longer:
  • Increased vaginal discharge, irritation, or infection
  • A change in your sex drive

If you still feel uncomfortable after three months, switch methods and stay protected. You’re worth it.

*For a very small number of women, there are risks of serious side effects.


  • Is it a problem if I'm getting vaginal discharge from the ring?

    The extra discharge you are experiencing from using the ring is probably normal. After a couple of cycles, this discharge may go back to normal.

    Also, the ring may protect you from a bacterial infection that can occur in the vagina called bacterial vaginosis (BV).

    If you’re concerned that the vaginal discharge that you’re experiencing may be caused by an infection, visit a health care provider at a The Right Time health center.

  • How long until the ring is effective?

    The ring is effective seven days after you start using it, so be sure to use backup method, like a condom or internal condom, until then.

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Our partner health centers are focused on you. They provide access to all methods of birth control and free or low-cost birth control to those who need it.