IUD vs Contraceptive Ring – Pros, Cons and Differences Explained

IUD vs Contraceptive Ring – Pros, Cons and Differences Explained

IUD vs Contraceptive Ring – Pros, Cons and Differences Explained


If you’re exploring your birth control options, you may be wondering how intrauterine devices (IUDs) compare with the vaginal ring, called “NuvaRing.” These two types of birth control are very different.


Choosing the one that’s right for you might depend on your preference and how convenient it is for you.


If you don’t want to rely on your doctor to place and ultimately remove an IUD, you may like the flexibility of NuvaRing. However, if you prefer long-term pregnancy prevention benefits and a hands-off approach, you may want to go with an IUD.


Difference Between IUD’s and NuvaRing

NuvaRing Overview

NuvaRing is a hormonal contraception device. It’s a thin, flexible ring made of transparent plastic. For it to work, you need to insert the ring into your vagina. The ring will remain in your vagina for three weeks. On the fourth week, you remove the ring and you’ll have a period. After this week, you’ll insert a new ring and begin the cycle again.

If it’s used correctly, NuvaRing is very effective. The ring is 99 percent effective when it’s used as directed. If you’re late putting the ring in or otherwise use the ring incorrectly, this rate drops to 91 percent.

NuvaRing works by releasing a steady stream of hormones into your body. This stream of hormones prevents pregnancy in two ways. First, the hormones stop ovulation. Second, the hormones thicken the mucus that lines your cervix. Sperm have a difficult time penetrating this thick, sticky mucus. This keeps the sperm from reaching an egg if one was released during ovulation.


Side Effects of NuvaRing?

As with any form of birth control, both NuvaRing and IUDs can cause side effects that range from

The side effects of NuvaRing use include:

1.       nausea

2.       vomiting

3.       breakthrough bleeding between periods

4.       breast tenderness and sensitivity

5.       increased vaginal discharge

6.       vaginal irritation

7.       infection


Rare side effects of all forms of hormonal birth control, including NuvaRing, may include: 

1.       a heart attack

2.       a stroke

3.       blood clots


IUD Overview

An IUD is a T-shaped device that your doctor will place in your uterus. IUDs can either be copper, such as ParaGard or the CopperPearls IUB (LINK), or hormonal, such as Mirena, Skyla, or Liletta.


Both types of IUDs provide long-term protection against pregnancy. Mirena protects against pregnancy for five years, and Skyla and Liletta last for three years. The non-hormonal ParaGard protects against pregnancy for up to 10 years.

IUDs are extremely effective at preventing pregnancy. Less than 1 percent of women who use an IUD will become pregnant each year. Additionally, women who have an IUD inserted within five days, or 120 hours, of unprotected sex can reduce their risk of pregnancy by 99.9 percent.


Hormonal IUDs release a steady stream of hormones into your body. These hormones prevent pregnancy in three ways. First, the IUD partially stops ovulation. Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from your ovaries into your fallopian tubes and eventually your uterus. If this egg meets a sperm, the sperm could fertilize it and create an embryo. Without an egg, fertilization isn’t possible.


Hormonal IUDs also thin the lining of your uterus. This prevents a fertilized egg from attaching and developing. Additionally, hormonal IUDs increase the production of thick mucus on your cervix. This thick, sticky lining blocks sperm from entering your uterus and fertilizing an egg.

Copper IUDs continuously release copper into your uterus. Copper creates an inflammatory response in your uterus that kills sperm. This reduces the chances of fertilization if an egg is released from your ovaries during ovulation. This is the most efficient form on non-hormonal, long-acting and reversible contraceptive available. The CopperPearls fall into this category.


The side effects of Hormonal IUD use include:

1.       mild to moderate pain following the IUD insertion

2.       cramping and back pain once the IUD is in place

3.       heavier periods and worsening menstrual cramps, which occurs with ParaGard (non-hormonal IUD’s)

4.       irregular periods for the first three to six months of use, which occurs with Skyla and Mirena

5.       breakthrough bleeding or spotting for three to six months after insertion


Both types of birth control are very effective at reducing your risk of an unplanned pregnancy. These methods are also very safe. When you’re deciding between an IUD and a vaginal ring, remember that you can change your mind at any point. Whatever you choose, give it a few months to begin working properly before you make a decision to change. You may find that the method works just as you expected and that any side affects you may experience can fade.


For more information on the CopperPearls IUB, click here to get in touch with us today!


Source credit: https://www.healthline.com/health/birth-control/iud-vs-nuvaring#outlook

Cover Image Credit: ABC News