How to Use the NuvaRing

Use NuvaRing
How to Use NuvaRing. Photo © 2016 Dawn Stacey

NuvaRing Use:

The NuvaRing is a combination hormonal birth control method. It is reversible, effective, and can only be bought if you have a prescription. It is super easy to use NuvaRing (and it's comfortable, too!). The ring is completely flexible, so that makes it easy to insert.

When Do I Use NuvaRing?

There are two things to know when it comes to using the NuvaRing.

  1. You need to remember when it is time to use NuvaRing.
  1. You need to know what to do if your Nuvaring falls out.

To use NuvaRing, you must insert it into your vagina ONE time every four weeks. So, this means that you insert your NuvaRing during Week 1. Once you have put it in, the cool thing is that your muscles in the vaginal wall will keep the ring in place for 21 days (or 3 weeks). Then, on week 4, you must take out your NuvaRing, and you will most likely have your withdrawal period during that week. Pretty simple -- huh? 

Is It Gross to Use the NuvaRing?

I guess the answer to that is yes and no! I will be the first to tell you that if you are not comfortable with touching your vagina, you may want to think about a different birth control method. If you don't find this gross, then go for it! NuvaRing is a great hormonal birth control method... especially if you have trouble remembering to take pills everyday. All it requires is for you to put it in and take it out, every month.

There are even fun contraception apps that remind you when it is time to take out or use your NuvaRing.

How Do You Use NuvaRing (Exactly)?

Are you wondering if it may be tricky to use NuvaRing? Then you will be relieved to hear that it's pretty much as easy to insert and take out as a tampon (yay!). And the best part -- once you have inserted the NuvaRing, it doesn't have to be in any specific location (inside your vagina) to work.

AND -- chances are pretty good that you won't even feel your NuvaRing once you get it in place. So now that I have hopefully made you feel at ease about this how to use NuvaRing, let's take a quick look at how you insert it and take it out.

NuvaRing Use - Insertion:

Now I promise this is very simple. But I do suggest that you first think about what position you should be in to make it easy to insert your NuvaRing. Try choosing a position that makes you feel comfortable. I suggest that you either lie down, squat, or stand with one leg up on a stool or chair. Once you have that figured out, here are the steps on how to use NuvaRing:

  1. Wash and dry your hands before taking out the NuvaRing from its pouch.
  2. Open the re-sealable foil pouch -- there's a notch on both sides, near the top (so it is easy to open the pouch).
  3. Take out your NuvaRing.
  4. Hold on to that foil pouch. It makes a great place to put your used NuvaRing into before you throw it away in the garbage.

Okay, now you are ready to use NuvaRing (drum roll please...)

  1. Hold your NuvaRing between your thumb and index finger. Then press the sides of the ring together (so it is smooshed together in a long, oval shape).
  2. Insert the folded NuvaRing into your vagina.
  1. Using your index finger, slowly and gently push it further up into your vagina.

That's pretty much it! Just know that when you use Nuvaring, it may end up in different positions inside your vagina. This is totally okay because it doesn't need to be in an exact location to work. Your NuvaRing may also slightly move around within your vagina. This is normal also.

One bit of caution (don't get too alarmed) -- if your NuvaRing is feeling uncomfortable or it is hurting you, there's a chance that you may have not have inserted it far enough. The solution here is simple, use your finger to carefully push your Nuvaring as far as you can up into your vagina.

And guess what? You can't mess this part up! Once you have inserted your NuvaRing, you don't have to worry that you pushed it too far up or (even worse) that it will end up getting lost in there. That won't happen. But always remember, if you are experiencing any type of pain during or after inserting your Nuvaring, or if you can't seem to find it... please, please call your doctor right away. 

How to Use NuvaRing - Taking it Out:

Again, the instructions here are very simple.

  1. Wash and dry your hands.
  2. Make sure to take out your Nuvaring three weeks after you have inserted it (on the same day of the week and around the same time of day that it was inserted).
  3. Again, choose a comfortable position.
  4. Put your index finger into your vagina and hook it through the NuvaRing. Slowly pull downward and forward to remove the NuvaRing and then just pull it all the way out.
  5. You can put the NuvaRing in the re-sealable pouch and put it in a trash can. Do not flush your NuvaRing in the toilet (just trust me on that one).

And now we are right back at the beginning... Seven days after you have taken out your old NuvaRing (yep, on the same day of the week and at the same time that your previous NuvaRing was removed), it is time to insert a new NuvaRing. You can still do this even if your period has not yet stopped. 

See -- you should be a pro now! No more excuses, you should now know exactly how to use NuvaRing!


Szarewski A. "High acceptability and satisfaction with NuvaRing use." The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care. 2002; 7(Suppl 2):31-39. Accessed via private subscription.

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