NuvaRing is a contraceptive vaginal ring manufactured by Merck. This ring is a colorless and transparent with a decent amount of flexibility. It is made of ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers and magnesium stearate. It contains estonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol and is non-biodegradable. Ethinyl estradiol and estonogestrel are female hormones, which prevents ovulation, thickens cervical mucus and uterine lining and thus prevents fertilization and pregnancy.

Patients should wear it for three full weeks, followed by one full week without a ring. The timing of ring insertion and removal should be accurate as asked by the doctor, as it plays a very important role in effectiveness of this form of birth control. It could increase risk of blood clots, stroke, or heart attack, especially if patient is older than 35 or smokes. This medication may sometimes cause serious blood clot problems such as pulmonary embolism, stroke or heart attack.

This ring should not be used by pregnant women as it could cause birth defects in the unborn child. It is advisable to consult doctor immediately if a patient gets pregnant, while using it. The medication from this ring passes into breast milk and thus should be used cautiously by nursing mothers. Patients with history of stroke or blood clot, circulation problems, breast or uterine cancer, abnormal vaginal bleeding, liver disease or liver cancer, severe high blood pressure, migraine headaches, a heart valve disorder, or a history of jaundice caused by birth control pills should not use this ring. Patients should consult their allergies, medical history and medications being with their doctor.

The use of NuvaRing could produce allergic reactions such as hives, breathlessness, swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. It could also cause sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body, confusion, vision changes or pain behind eyes, disturbance in balance or speech, chest pain expanding to arms, nausea, sweating and other such conditions. Some patients may also experience migraine headaches or worsening of existing migraine. Other side effects are stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools or jaundice.

Serious side effects such as vaginal discomfort or irritation, increased vaginal discharge, or tenderness or enlargement in breasts may occur due to use of this ring. Some patients may experience vaginal bleeding between periods, irregular periods or missed periods. It is advisable to consult the doctor in such condition. Vaginal rings may sometimes cause bacterial infection and some patients may develop Vaginitis. This drug is also linked to serious respiratory tract infection.

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