Etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol (Vaginal)


Ethinyl Estradiol (ETH-i-nil es-tra-DYE-ol), Etonogestrel (e-toe-noe-JES-trel)

Used for birth control. This medicine is a contraceptive.

Brand Name(s)

NuvaRing, Nuvaring

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to etonogestrel or ethinyl estradiol, or if you are pregnant or have vaginal bleeding that has not been checked by a doctor. You should not use this medicine if you have heart disease, severe high blood pressure, problems with circulation, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, liver disease, a history of stroke or blood clots, or if you are a heavy smoker and over the age of 35.

How to Use This Medicine


  • The medicine is in a ring that is put into your vagina and releases small amounts of medicine that is absorbed into your body. Your doctor or nurse will show you how to put the ring in.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions
  • Never share your medicine with anyone.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you leave the ring in place for more than 4 weeks, you may not be protected from pregnancy. Check to be sure you are not pregnant before inserting a new ring. You must use a different kind of birth control until the new ring has been in place for 7 days in a row.
  • If you forget to replace the ring after the one-week ring-free break, call your doctor for instructions.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store unopened packages of this medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.
  • Do not flush the ring down the toilet. Throw the ring away where children and pets cannot get to it.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • This medicine may not work while you are using antibiotics, medicine for seizures or other vaginal medicine. To keep from getting pregnant, use another form of birth control such as condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • When you first start using the vaginal ring, it is important to use a second form of birth control during the first 7 days to make sure you are protected from pregnancy.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are breastfeeding, or if you have lupus, high blood pressure, seizures, asthma, migraine headaches, diabetes, or depression.
  • Smoking can increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, or blood clot when using this medication.
  • If you miss two periods in a row, remove the ring and call your doctor for a pregnancy test.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • Call your doctor if the ring causes vaginal irritation (such as redness, pain, or burning).

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Dark colored urine, yellow skin or eyes
  • Lumps in your breast
  • Pain in your leg (calf), chest, or groin
  • Severe headache or sudden vision changes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Bloated feeling, weight gain, or tired feeling that won't go away
  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Contact lens discomfort
  • Nausea or stomach cramps
  • Sensitivity to sunlight

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

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