NuvaRing Side Effects

NuvaRing contains ethinyl estradiol and etonogestrel, a combination of female hormones that prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary). They also cause changes in your cervical mucus and uterine lining, making it harder for sperm to reach the uterus and harder for a fertilized egg to attach to the uterus.

NuvaRing is used as contraception to prevent pregnancy.

NuvaRing use can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use ethinyl estradiol and etonogestrel if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Do not use NuvaRing if you are allergic to ethinyl estradiol or etonogestrel, or if you have:

  • a history of stroke or blood clot;
  • circulation problems (especially if caused by diabetes);
  • a hormone-related cancer such as breast or uterine cancer;
  • abnormal vaginal bleeding;
  • liver disease or liver cancer;
  • severe high blood pressure;
  • severe migraine headaches;
  • a heart valve disorder; or
  • a history of jaundice caused by birth control pills.

Before using NuvaRing, tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions. You may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use NuvaRing.

  • high blood pressure, heart disease, congestive heart failure, angina (chest pain), or a history of heart attack;
  • high cholesterol or triglycerides;
  • kidney disease;
  • a history of depression;
  • gallbladder disease;
  • diabetes;
  • seizures or epilepsy;
  • a history of irregular menstrual cycles, toxic shock syndrome, or easy vaginal irritation;
  • prolapsed (dropped) uterus, bladder, or rectum;
  • a history of fibrocystic breast disease, lumps, nodules, or an abnormal mammogram;
  • severe constipation; or
  • migraine headaches.

The hormones in birth control pills can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. NuvaRing may also slow breast milk production. Do not use if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to a Nuvaring: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using NuvaRing and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, pain behind the eyes, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling;
  • a change in the pattern or severity of migraine headaches;
  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet;
  • a breast lump; or
  • symptoms of depression (sleep problems, weakness, mood changes).

Less serious Nuvaring side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps;
  • breast pain, tenderness, or swelling;
  • freckles or darkening of facial skin;
  • increased hair growth, loss of scalp hair;
  • changes in weight or appetite;
  • problems with contact lenses;
  • vaginal itching or discharge;
  • changes in your menstrual periods, decreased sex drive; or
  • headache, nervousness, dizziness, tired feeling.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.