How Much Does a Birth Control Ring Cost Without Insurance?
Without insurance, the birth control ring can cost anywhere from $30-$2200. The type of birth control ring or whether the ring is a brand name or generic drug affects cost. There are two types of birth control rings: NuvaRing and Annovera. Only NuvaRing has a generic version.
Cost of Birth Control Ring
There are three different birth control rings available on the market: Annovera, NuvaRing, and EluRyng, the generic brand of NuvaRing. NuvaRing and EluRyng are used for four weeks (one menstrual cycle) while Annovera is used for a whole year (13 menstrual cycles).
|Ring name||Average cost per unit||How long does it last?||Average cost per week*|
|EluRyng (generic NuvaRing)||$51||1 cycle||$12.75|
*assuming four-week cycle
Source: Planned Parenthood
The NuvaRing and EluRyng are usually sold in packs of three, allowing for protection for three cycles, whereas Annovera rings are sold individually. You insert the NuvaRing yourself so you will not incur any additional service costs aside from the initial provider visit with an OB/GYN. The average cost of an OB/GYN visit can be about $386.
Like other forms of birth control, the birth control ring is covered by the ACA. However, if you are not eligible for coverage under the ACA, the birth control ring can be purchased at a local pharmacy with a prescription. The price of the ring may vary from pharmacy to pharmacy.
Average Cost Per Unit Across Various Pharmacies
What is a birth control ring?
The birth control ring (also called Annovera, NuvaRing, or EluRyng) is a small soft, plastic ring that you place inside your vagina. The ring secretes estrogen and progestin into your bloodstream through your vaginal lining and stops fertilization like many other contraceptives. It sits on the inside of your vagina. Like birth control pills, the ring contains these hormones, and these hormones are similar to the ones naturally made in your body. The ring stops ovulation, meaning no egg is present in the uterus to be fertilized. Additionally, estrogen and progestin thicken cervical mucus, blocking sperm from swimming to an egg.
How do I use the birth control ring?
Keep NuvaRing and EluRyng in your vagina for three weeks and take it out for a week. Insert a new ring after your one-week break. The ring should be removed and inserted on the same day of the week at the same time. So if you removed it on Tuesday at 10 am after three weeks, a new one should be inserted on Tuesday at 10 am after your one-week break.
For Annovera, the same three-week inserted/one-week removed cycle stands, but you do not have to insert a new ring after your one-week break. You can repeat the cycle 13 times until it is time to get a new ring.
Store NuvaRings and EluRyngs at room temperature away from direct sunlight for up to 16 weeks. Any rings that you do not plan on using within four months need to be stored in the refrigerator. When removing Annovera, wash the ring with mild soap and lukewarm water, and pat dry with a towel. Store it in the provided case so you do not lose it.
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With many birth control options available, it is important to weigh the benefits and risks of the birth control ring. Some advantages include
- Effective birth control. If the ring is used correctly, it provides 99 percent protection against pregnancy. Put your ring in on time, every time.
- Convenience. Unlike the pill, you do not have to worry about the ring every day. You only have to think about it once or twice a month, when inserting or removing the ring.
- Better periods. Like the pill, the hormones in the ring can make your periods more regular and can help with cramps and heavy flow.
- Pregnancy control. As soon as you stop using the ring, you can get pregnant within 1-2 months.
Like other forms of birth control, the ring has its own disadvantages.
- Have to stay on schedule. Although the ring requires less maintenance than the pill, you still have to remove and insert it at the same time, every time. If not, you may not be protected from pregnancy. IUDs or the implant may be a better, low-maintenance option for those who think they will not be able to keep up with their ring schedule.
- Side effects. Like other forms of birth control, the ring has some potential side effect that usually go away after 2 or 3 months. The most common are spotting between periods, sore breasts, nausea, or headaches.
Birth Control Ring Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below we've answered other questions asked about birth control rings.
Where can I get the ring?
The birth control ring is a prescription medication. A prescription can be obtained from a OB/GYN, health clinic, or a local Planned Parenthood health center. Twenty-four states even all pharmacists to directly prescribe a birth control ring.
During an OB/GYN visit, the doctor will administer whatever screenings you made need to be prescribed the ring. Most people do not need pelvic exams to be prescribed the birth control ring.
You may get the ring immediately after your appointment, or you can pick up your prescription at a drugstore or pharmacy.
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How effective is the ring?
With perfect use, the ring is 99 percent effective, but typical use efficacy is around 91 percent. Ensuring that you insert and remove the ring on the same day of the week at the same time will put you closer to 99 percent efficacy. IUDs and the implant have a higher typical use efficacy rate and may be easier to use since nothing needs to be remembered for them to work effectively.
What happens if I don’t keep the ring in for the full 3 weeks?
If your NuvaRing or EluRyng is out of your vagina for more than 48 hours in a row during the three weeks the ring should be in your vagina, you risk lower efficacy. If your Annovera is out of your vagina for more than two hours at a time, or at different times add up to more than two hours total when your ring should be in your vagina, you also risk lower efficacy.
What can impact the effectiveness of the ring?
Certain antibiotics, antifungals, HIV medicines, anti-seizure medications may cause the ring not to work as well. Consult with your doctor to ensure that you are not taking any medications that may interfere with the birth control ring. The birth control ring also does not protect against any sexually transmitted infections.
The birth control ring is one of many forms of birth control available on the market. The ring comes in a variety of price points and options. Its relative convenience and painless insertion and removal processes make it a favorable choice for people desiring protection against pregnancy.
The birth control ring is a prescription medication, so a doctor must prescribe it to you. For an average of $45 a month, Mira can provide you with unlimited primary care appointments and up to an 80 percent discount on over 1000 prescription drugs. Sign up for Mira today.
Shandra is a junior at Yale University, where she is studying biomedical engineering. Before joining Mira, Shandra wrote in the science and technology column of a local newspaper. Additionally, she has experience writing healthcare policy, covering topics such as the American Rescue Plan Act, abortion rights, and expansion of Medicare eligibility.