Semin Reprod Med 2010; 28(2): 133-139
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1248138
© Thieme Medical Publishers

The Contraceptive Vaginal Ring

Jill Edwardson1 , Roxanne Jamshidi2
  • 1Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
29 March 2010 (online)


The contraceptive vaginal ring offers effective contraception that is self-administered, requires less frequent dosing than many other forms of contraception, and provides low doses of hormones. NuvaRing (Organon, Oss, The Netherlands), the only contraceptive vaginal ring approved for use in the United States, contains etonogestrel and ethinyl estradiol. It is inserted into the vagina for 3 weeks, followed by a 1-week ring-free period, and works by inhibiting ovulation. Most women note a beneficial effect on bleeding profiles and are satisfied with NuvaRing. Commonly reported adverse events include vaginitis, leukorrhea, headaches, and device-related events such as discomfort. Serious adverse events are rare. In Chile and Peru, progesterone-only vaginal contraceptive rings are available for nursing women. Studies are ongoing examining new formulations of vaginal contraceptive rings.


Roxanne Jamshidi, M.D. 

Assistant Professor, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

4940 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, MD 21224