Headache From NuvaRing

NuvaRing® (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring) is a hormonal contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy. As with any medication, it is possible to develop side effects while using this method of birth control. In clinical studies, a number of women taking NuvaRing reported experiencing a headache.
Since it is not possible to use a placebo in clinical trials for contraceptives, as this would lead to many unintentional pregnancies, it is difficult to obtain much information about side effects from these studies (since there is no way of knowing if any particular problem is actually a side effect of the medication). Therefore, although headaches and other side effects were commonly reported in clinical studies of NuvaRing, it is difficult to know if they are "true" side effects or not.
In most cases, the reported headaches were minor and either did not require medical attention or could be treated easily. However, certain types of headaches could be signs of more serious problems and should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately. In general, women who have headaches with neurological symptoms (such as migraines with aura) should not use NuvaRing.
(Click NuvaRing Side Effects and NuvaRing Warnings and Precautions for more information on how frequently headaches were reported with this drug, to find out what other side effects may occur with this contraceptive, and for more information on who should not use this method of birth control.)
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
Pregnancy and Pain