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August 28, 2007

NuvaRing Side Effects

Filed under: birth control,Nuva Ring,NuvaRing,side effects,Uncategorized — Ashlynn @ 9:41 am

NuvaRing® side effects including blood clots, stroke and heart attack have been reported by women using this relatively new form of birth control. Side effects of NuvaRing® are associated with the hormone desogestrel which can cause changes in the blood clotting system allowing blood clots to form more easily. NuvaRing birth control was approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) on October 3, 2001 and first marketed in the United States in July 2002. NuvaRing® is used by approximately 1.5 million women worldwide.

NuvaRing® is a flexible polyethylene vinyl acetate ring around 2 inches in diameter. NuvaRing® is considered a third generation combination hormonal contraceptive. It contains a combination of the hormones estrogen and etonogestrel which is a synthetic form of the progestin desogestrel. NuvaRing® uses a different form of progestin compared to older contraceptives. Third generation contraceptives containing desogestrel have recently come under fire due to the increased risk of blood clots (venous thrombosis). The newer progestins (desogestrel) in third generation contraceptives were intended to lessen the adverse effects caused by older contraceptives such as hirsutism, weight gain, and acne.

Combination hormonal contraceptives contain both estrogen and progestins. NuvaRing® contains the progestin desogestrel which, according to studies going back to 1995, doubles the risk of blood clots compared to second generation oral contraceptives. Organon, the manufacturer of NuvaRing® is aware of the increased risk of blood clots associated with third generation oral contraceptives. The NuvaRing® warning label states:

The hormones in NuvaRing® may cause changes in your bloodclotting system which may allow your blood to clot more easily. If blood clots form in your legs, they can travel to the lungs and cause a sudden blockage of a vessel carrying blood to the lungs. Rarely, clots occur in the blood vessels of the eye and may cause blindness, double vision, or other vision problems. The risk of getting blood clots may be greater with the type of progestin in NuvaRing® than with some other progestins in certain low-dose birth control pills. It is unknown if the risk of blood clots is different with NuvaRing® use than with the use of certain birth control pills.

The side effects of NuvaRing® can increase depending on several risk factors. Increased risk factors include: women over age 35, smoking more than 15 cigarettes a day, diabetes, and high levels of blood cholesterol or fat. Warning signs of potentially more serious NuvaRing® side effects include:

  • sharp chest pain, coughing blood, or sudden shortness of breath (possible clot in the lung)
  • pain in the calf (back of lower leg – possible clot in the leg)
  • crushing chest pain or heaviness in the chest (possible heart attack)
  • sudden severe headache or vomiting, dizziness, or fainting, problems with vision or speech, weakness, or numbness in an arm or leg (possible stroke)
  • sudden partial or complete loss of vision (possible clot in the eye)

Currently there are no non-industry sponsored studies showing that third generation contraceptives such as NuvaRing® are more effective when compared to second generation contraceptives especially given the increased risk of blood clots associated with desogestrel.

Birth Control Buzz is a service company that provides birth control prices, birth control types (prescription required), health administrative services, and birth control statistics predominantly to US patients seeking to purchase birth control on-line.

For more information on birth control, call 1-866-868-8850 or visit http://www.birthcontrolbuzz.com/.

About the Author
Steve Fields – To learn more about NuvaRing side effects please visit our website. We work with NuvaRing attorneys representing clients throughout the United States.

Birth Control Buzz is a service company that provides birth control prices, types of birth control(prescription required), health administrative services, and birth control statistics predominantly to US patients seeking to purchase pharmaceuticals on-line. For more information, call 1-866-868-8850 or visit http://www.birthcontrolbuzz.com/.


  1. Oh also, I experience headaches here and there. I already have migraines from time to time, this has just made it worse. Nausea here and there is also a side effect I’m experiencing. Altogether, it’s nothing I can’t handle, I just want the fatigue to stop. 🙁

    Comment by Jennifer — July 25, 2012 @ 4:49 am

  2. Dear Jennifer,

    Fatigue is not a common side effect of birth control pills or the ring. It may be from the mild depression that you already have. I would first advise you to drink more water and adding more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet first to see if your energy levels change. If it doesn’t, then check in with your doctor and get a blood test to see if it could be something else (ie. anemia, dehydration, etc).

    Comment by Janine — July 26, 2012 @ 1:14 am

  3. I love it:) I have no problems, doesnt come out while have intercourse or anything (though my boyfriend feels it). But otherthan that i love love love it. I suck at remembering to take pills so this was the best bet. So far so GOOD:)

    Comment by allyson — July 26, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

  4. Thank you so much for your advice Janine. I did blood tests before and everything was normal. I even brought this issue to my doctor before, he tells me it is all in my head. Telling me how I might not have the energy level I wish I have but everyone feels fatigue from time to time, it’s nothing to worry about. Perhaps it is my depression. Sigh. Thanks again for your help Janine.

    Comment by Jennifer — July 30, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

  5. Ive been on the nuvaring for 3 months now. I just took it out because I have been having pelvic pain for the last month. It started out sparatic, it would come and go for a brief moment every couple days. This past week the pain has escalated and has been persistent for the past 5 days. I went to the hospital because my Doctor was worried it was my appendix. They performed an internal & external sonogram. My ovaries were fine and the blood flow was fine. They also performed a non contrast cat scan which showed a grey area near my ovary which they said was because I am a week from my cycle… any ideas as to what was wrong with me. Can i blame the nuvaring?

    Comment by kimberly — August 1, 2012 @ 7:18 am

  6. Dear Kimberly,

    We are not sure if it is the Nuvaring that is causing the pelvic pain. What you can do is come off the ring for a month and see if the pain comes back. If it does, then it is not the ring that is causing the pain. If the pain does come back, then it is possible that it is the ring causing the pain and in that case I would advise you to talk to your doctor about other methods of birth control such as the patch, the shot, the implant, iud, or the pill.

    Comment by Janine — August 2, 2012 @ 1:51 am

  7. I am 16 and i cheated on my boyfriend by havin sex with a stranger….i was with my best friend qnd she yave me a ring and and i used this damn thing…and i deserve it but my side has been hurting very severly…today was the 4 th time it hurt..im never using it again…i now have to get checked out for a cyst or cancer….and im scared out of my mind…

    Comment by no one — August 12, 2012 @ 2:36 am

  8. My Nuvaring experience:

    1. First month, no prob

    2. Second month, the extreme increase in progesterone caused the worst constipation of my life. I tried everything for relief. The only relief came the day after I took it out because of the drop in progesterone. I also had brown discharge exactly one week before me period was due and I was SURE I was pregnant. However, I was not.

    3. Third month, I had very light spotting (almost non-existant) in about my third week. However, now I have daily pelvic pain and light cramping…like I can feel it sitting there.

    Overall: I like that I don’t have to take a pill everyday because I DO forget. However, I’m going to remove it for good for a couple reasons. First, my husband said he hits it and it hurts. He reeeeaaaally dislikes the ring. Second, we have decided to try to get pregnant. If we do and I go back on BC later, I will probably switch back to the pill or get an IUD.

    Comment by Sue — September 12, 2012 @ 5:48 am

  9. Dear Sue,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    Comment by Janine — September 13, 2012 @ 1:16 am

  10. I’ve been on Nuva Ring since I was 16, I’m 22 now and the last few times that I have had it in, I’ve noticed a very irritated ichy feeling, I though it might have been a yeast infection, but this has accrued 3 times this year, which is a lot. I’ve boughten different types of yeast because some didn’t work, but this time around it is work because it doesn’t even help. It’s impossible to sleep or even move because how irritated it is.. Im going to call my doctor tomorrow morning.., I can not stand the ichy feeling any longer.. But here is why I also think its my ring, I take it out momentarily for about 10 min and the itching stops… Ive never had any problems till this year. And I can’t take pulls because I had a horrible tendency of forgetting I’m afriad to get a implant because my sister has that and she had been losing hair from it and the shot you gain weight.. Idk what kinda birth control I should be on now… Or of I should even be on it anymore..

    Comment by Kim — October 10, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

  11. Dear Kim,

    If you don’t want to get pregnant, then stay on birth control. There is also the patch and IUD, you should talk to your doctor about them and see if they work for you.

    Comment by Janine — October 11, 2012 @ 1:07 am

  12. I have been on nuvaring for 4 days and the adverse symptoms started almost immediately. Vomiting, cramping etc. On the 4th day my cramping became so severe I couldn’t take it anymore and took the ring out. Regular pain medicine is having no effect and am considering going to the ER. I know a few friends who love the ring and have no side effects. It was most definitely not for me.

    Comment by Sarah — October 20, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

  13. Dear Sarah,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    Comment by Janine — October 22, 2012 @ 1:17 am

  14. i’m 25 of age and have never took any type of birth control form. My dr thought it would be great for me to stay get started on one so I have been on the nuvaring since August.. About 3weeks ago i experience the vision of my eyes getting blurry. More so of the right eyes being alot blurry then before. It freaked me out and I still am freak out about it, but I had got it check out by my dr. she told me just give it another try for about another month b/cus she thought it wasn’t from the nuvaring. So here I go giving it another shot but only did it lasted a week till I took it out b/cus my right vision were still playing tricks with me but got even worst.. if it dont get better in another week I was told to get it check with my eye dr. and we would go from there.. Lets face it, our eye sights are precious to us and it’s not worth losing because of this.. with that being said I dont think I would want to use any form of birth control again..

    Comment by Kay — October 23, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  15. Hi Kay,

    Thanks for sharing with us your experience with Nuuvaring.

    Comment by Janine — October 24, 2012 @ 1:02 am

  16. I have been using Nuvaring for about 3 months now and I am suddenly experiencing terrible pelvic pain that is SO bad. And my acne has gotten worse and my mood has been terrible. I feel depressed, I have no energy, and I’m always angry. Even my boyfriend noticed a difference in the past three days. I’m going to the doctor on Friday and hopefully changing it. Now that I’ve read that other women have had the same reactions, I feel more confident that this is what the problem is.

    Comment by Chelsea — October 24, 2012 @ 3:42 am

  17. Dear Chelsea,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

    Comment by Janine — October 25, 2012 @ 8:00 am

  18. Wow. After reading all these reviews, I almost wish I didn’t put the ring in. I tried multiple types of BC and gained 30 lbs (I’m a health nut/exercise instructor); I found seasonique worked best for me. But I couldn’t lose the weight. I was off BC for 2 years and lost most of that weight without changing habits. But now I’m about to go off in a foreign country so my new doctor prescribed me the nuvaring.. Day 2 on the ring: nausea and cramping in my right fallopian tube (feels similar to when I’m ovulating but hours).

    I’m going to try to leave it in for a week, but if it doesn’t go away, I’m taking it out. If I do, will I immediately start my period since I just inserted it after my period?

    Based on all the research I’ve seen is either you get no symptoms and it works well or you have a hard time with it from the beginning.

    Comment by CAV — October 25, 2012 @ 10:21 am

  19. Dear CAV,

    Your research is correct. It is advised you stay on it for 3 months to see if most of the side effects you are experiencing goes away. Unless you are experiencing symptoms such as sharp chest pains, coughing blood, sudden shortness of breath, pain in calf, crushing chest pains, sudden severe headache or vomiting, dizziness, or fainting, problems with speech or vision, numbness in an arm or leg, or sudden partial or complete loss of vision, you should stay on the ring for a minimum of 3 months.

    If you do remove the ring, you most likely will get your period.

    Comment by Janine — October 29, 2012 @ 6:33 am

  20. Ok, so I started the ring in Oct to regulate my periods, I’m actually on my week off and I have a few questions, I see that feeling a little nauseaus is a pretty common side effect when first putting it in but I instantly felt it when I took it out two days ago. Is that normal? Also I noticed that one day about a week ago it felt like a nerve in my chest above my heart was twitching, a friend of mine said that it was my heart palpatating. I’m a pretty healthy 25 year old other than the fact that according to statistics I cao lose a few pounds. Could that have anything to do with the ring? Also one more thing, I still haven’t gotten a period. Is it normal to miss the first period when using birth control to regulatw it?

    Comment by ashley — November 20, 2012 @ 12:17 am

  21. Sorry for the spelling errors!!

    Comment by ashley — November 20, 2012 @ 12:19 am

  22. Dear Ashley,

    Nausea is a common side effect that occurs during the first 3 months of being on the ring. It is normal that you felt nausea when you took out the ring. The twitching nerve can also be temporary, but watch for it during the first 6 months of being on the ring. If it consistently twitches every now and then after you have been on the ring for more than 3 months, let your doctor know. Missed periods is very common as well when being on the ring for the first 3 months. It takes time for your body to adjust to the hormones from the ring to regulate your period. You should have more regular periods by the 3rd month of being on the ring.

    Comment by Janine — November 20, 2012 @ 11:49 am

  23. I started the nuvaring about two weeks ago and already had to take it out. At first I was just a little moody and had a loss of appetit. But a few days later I stated having headaches so bad I couldn’t turn a light on abdominal pains and then started getting chest pains. With the chest pains I can’t eat drink berth burp or cough with out feeling like my chest was being broken open. I went to a doctor who ran an EKG and chest xray a urine test and blood work and said she can’t find anything wrong. So I went home an hour later my chest pain got even worse! So bad I ended up going to the er. Mind you this is two days after taking the ring out. But even the nurses and doctors could not find anything wrong with me. They gave me medicine for an upset stomach one to help me be able to eat and another to stop the chest and abdominal pain. However they aren’t helping much. They did say it is probably from the nuvaring and that I shouldn’t go back on it.

    Comment by Karli — November 23, 2012 @ 9:14 am

  24. Dear Karli,

    We won’t know for sure if it is the Nuvaring unless you go back on it to see if it happens again. If you decide not to go back on the Nuvaring and you are sexually active, I would advise you to see your doctor to go on another type of birth control for example, the patch, the shot, the implant, the pill, or iud

    Comment by Janine — November 26, 2012 @ 11:48 am

  25. It seems as though there are a lot of people telling their horror stories on this page. Please know that NuvaRing works great for a lot of people, including myself. I am laughing when I read some of these comments, for instance, a few people say they have problems with the ring falling out. It is IMPOSSIBLE for the ring to fall out.. you have to push it far enough up so the ring can expand, Where it becomes lodged up there. If someone really has a problem with it falling out, I’m guessing they must have the world’s biggest vagina.

    I have been on NuvaRing for about four months and have had no side effects, except my boobs grew from a C cup to a D cup, which my boyfriend is pretty happy about. I have not had acne, pain, discharge, or an infection. I do take the ring out to wash it under lukewarm water (no soap) when I shower everyday. That’s just gross to not wash something that sits in your body for weeks on end.

    The only problem I have had with the ring is that when I have sex, my boyfriend kind of hits it. The ring is designed to take out for a few hrs a day, so I guess that takes care of my problem.

    I am extremely sensitive to high levels of esteogen. Every other form of birth control has given me an immediate yeast infection.. the ring is just the perfect amount and works great for me. I would recommend it to everyone.

    Comment by kristin — January 3, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

  26. I am 24 years old and have been on the nuvaring for 8 months. The first few months were great no problem whatsoever, but the past 4 or 5 months I get sick every time I eat. I literally have to run to the bathroom 10 mins after I eat…and that eating anything. I finally realized that the only thing it could be was the nuvaring.

    I took the nuvaring out a week earlier than my week out because I couldn’t take it anymore. I took it out Saturday and it is now Thursday. I started my period on Monday and since Monday, I have been so sick, upset stomach, dizzy, headaches, blurred vision, I constantly feel like I’m on the verge of passing out, and PANIC ATTACKS. I have never had an issue with being overly stressed or experienced panic. I haven’t been able to drive to work because I freak out and feel like I’m going to pass out.

    I went to my regular family doctor and he ran blood tests and everything came out great, so I truly believe this is all caused by taking out the ring.

    Has anyone else that has gone off nuvaring experienced things like this? if so how long does it last? I am scared to death that this is going to last. Someone PLEASE HELP!

    Comment by Danielle — January 17, 2013 @ 9:11 am

  27. Dear Danielle,

    These symptoms will not last. Now that you are off Nuvaring, things should slowly get back to normal within the next 2-3 months. If this continues, it is most likely not caused by the Nuvaring.

    Comment by Janine — January 18, 2013 @ 1:35 am

  28. I’ve been on the nuva ring for over a year & when I take it out I feel like I’m going through withdrawl. I wake up in the middle of the night the day before I get my period with really bad stomach pain & feel like I’m going to vomit or have diarrhea (it always ends up being diarrhea). I become extremely irritable too. Have hot flashes & feel horrible in general. Other than that I love it… I didn’t gain weight but my weight does fluctuate alot. I was having really bad lower back pain the day I would get my period & my doctor said that’s because I have a tilted uterus so apparently instead of getting normal cramps I get cramps in my lower back but I got normal cramps before I got on the nuva ring but I just pre medicate starting the night before with midol to avoid the pain & it works.

    Comment by Heather — January 26, 2013 @ 10:15 pm

  29. I’ve decided to try out the nuvaring as the first contraceptive method. I put It on last Friday on the first day that I got my period. This is the 4th day (Monday) and Im still bleeding because of my period. Since Im feeling really sick, dizzy and nauseous I decided to just take it out now. Since Im still bleeding am I going to restart with my period after 2-3 days?

    I’d really appreciate your answer!

    Comment by RAAB — February 25, 2013 @ 3:13 am

  30. Dear RAAB,

    Your period will not restart in 2-3 days because you didn’t stay on the ring long enough. Once you take it out you should start feeling better. When you are ready to try another contraceptive method, don’t let the side effects scare you off, please give it 3 months before deciding to go off that method because the side effects you are experiencing normally goes away after the 3 month “trial” period.

    Comment by Janine — February 26, 2013 @ 7:18 am

  31. Okay so I just went to my doctor and after going over everything with him he strongly pushed the Ring…And he knew I had concerns about taking it. I am an emotional person to begin with and I am very frightened that this will only make that worse. I also have been reading and researching online and I have to say I hear more negative things than good things and I am getting very scared to try it… My doctor did not even want to discuss any other options– he immediately went to this and said try it if you have any issues call me but you won’t have any…you have been on birth control (pills) for almost 12 years and you never had any of these issues, everything will be fine trust me. But I am scared… What should I do?

    Comment by Alexis - Frightened to start Nuevaring!!! — March 13, 2013 @ 5:00 am

  32. Dear Alexis – Frightened to start Nuevaring!!!

    Don’t be frightened about the Ring. Every girl who goes on it has a different experience with it so don’t let what you researched online scare you. The worst that can happen is you have a bad experience you can just come off it and try another method.

    Comment by Janine — March 14, 2013 @ 7:14 am

  33. I just started the NuvaRing tuesday and so far i have not had any problem I was just wondering if it would hurt my Fiance if he was to eat me out could he taste the birth control would it hurt him Iam worried for what could it do to him

    Comment by Felicia — March 16, 2013 @ 5:50 am

  34. Dear Felicia,

    If you have inserted the NuvaRing properly, he shouldn’t be affected by it in any way.

    Comment by Janine — March 18, 2013 @ 6:28 am

  35. I fortunately had an okay experience with nuvaring, as far as hormonal contraceptive is concerned. I was on it for 6 months and only stopped now because I moved and ran out. I did have lots of thick discharge in the first couple weeks of inserting a new ring, which is quite bothersome. I was also not producing as much lubrication during sex and I am very sensitive to lubes so that was a struggle (my secret: coconut oil!! Love it). Also my bf and I BOTH noticed my orgasms weren’t as intense since I started nuvaring. Besides all these things though, it did what it was supposed to: prevented pregnancy. It also cleared up my skin and made t less sensitive which is great. Every birth control will have some side effects; you just have to figure out what you can live with and what warrants trying a different brand.

    Comment by Kallie — March 20, 2013 @ 7:35 am

  36. Dear Kallie,

    Thanks for sharing that with us!

    Comment by Janine — March 21, 2013 @ 3:32 am

  37. Birth control works differently for everybody. I have been on the ring for about two weeks now and the only issues I had was sickness and headaches and hot flashes for the first two days. But that is to be expected when you suddenly throw extra hormones at your body. My boyfriend hasn’t felt it during sex and I’ve had no trouble with being dried out or itchy. I really don’t have any complaints. It’s easy to use and I don’t even feel it there. I’ve also never had any issues with it moving or coming out, even with sex. Just remember that everyone reacts differently. Every birth control has side effects and every one of them have their own set of horror stories. Just find the one that works for you!

    Comment by Lindsey — July 22, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

  38. I started Nuvaring about a year ago, I should change off of it, but i’ve tried several kinds of BC pills, and I do not want something like a shot, injection, or IUD because I can not stop or remove them myself if i feel they are unsafe. I’ve heard horror stories about the Mirena IUD and the copper one, so those are not an option so I have remained on Nuvaring despite having severe mood swings, wieght gain, depression, decreased sexual arousal, and morning sickness. It might be causing the headaches that frequent me, but I can’t be sure of that, since ever since I started Birth Control I’ve had headaches, it could just be Birth Control in general. I would not recommend it to anyone wishing to start birth control, I would say to start the pills first, and perhaps choose an IUD or implant if you aren’t deathly afraid of those things like I am.

    Comment by Anna — July 31, 2013 @ 8:59 am

  39. so i took the nuva ring out a week early (2 days ago) because i was going to get the paraguard inserted in today…I woke up and decided i dont want to do it anymore. Do i have to put the nuva ring in right away or should i wait until i have my period and then put it back in ?

    Comment by sirope — August 20, 2013 @ 9:12 am

  40. Dear sirope,

    I would advise you to start the new pack after you have your period.

    Comment by Janine — August 20, 2013 @ 9:24 am

  41. I have been using the Nuva Ring for 6 years. I am 21 and 102 lbs. It’s been great until recently. I’ve had server disorienting migraines with vomiting. I also have been having severe calf pain, especially at night. Sexual intercourse became painful, and I have been having harp peloc pain. All of this started about 5 months ago. I went to my doctor and she took me off the Nuvaring immediately. I’m not sure If this is due to manufacturing differences or what, but now all of the sudden after many good years, the nuvaring is toxic to me. I’m not sure if I would recommend this or not, but I suggest being aware of your body and the side effects.

    Comment by Addie — September 13, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

  42. Dear Addie,

    Thank you so much for letting us know your experience with NuvaRing. Hopefully you have found an alternative birth control that works for you.

    Comment by Janine — September 16, 2013 @ 9:38 am

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