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Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2012 Dec;17(6):415-27. doi: 10.3109/13625187.2012.713535. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

The contraceptive vaginal ring, NuvaRing(®), a decade after its introduction.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Atrium Medical Centre Parkstad, Heerlen, the Netherlands.



To review the clinical experience with the contraceptive vaginal ring (CVR, NuvaRing(®)) since its introduction over ten years ago.


The literature was searched on efficacy, cycle control, safety, user preference and satisfaction of the CVR in comparison with combined oral contraceptives (COCs) and the patch, with special attention to recent developments.


The ring has the same working mechanism and contraindications as COCs. Serum levels of steroids are steadier, whereas oestrogenic exposure is lower. Contraceptive efficacy is similar, as are metabolic changes. Cycle control is better, and compliance and continuation rates are equal or higher. Oestrogen-related adverse symptoms appear to be fewer, but reports on the incidence of venous thrombosis are conflicting. Expulsion of the ring is reported by 4% to 20% of women. Local adverse events are the main reason for discontinuation. Acceptability is as high as with COCs and, after structured counselling, the ring is preferred by many women to the pill or the patch.


Efficacy of the CVR, and the metabolic changes and adverse events it elicits, are generally comparable to those of COCs, yet oestrogenic exposure is lower and cycle control superior. After counselling, the ring is preferred to the pill by many women.

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