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NuvaRing is a hormonal birth control (contraceptive) device for women. A flexible, transparent plastic ring, NuvaRing is inserted deep into the vagina and worn for three weeks. You remove NuvaRing for one week — allowing menstruation to occur — then insert a new ring.

Similar to combination birth control pills, NuvaRing prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones into your body. NuvaRing suppresses ovulation — keeping your ovaries from releasing an egg. NuvaRing also thickens cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching the egg.

NuvaRing is the only vaginal hormonal contraceptive that's approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and available in the U.S. To use NuvaRing, you'll need a prescription from your health care provider.

Jan. 21, 2012