NuvaRing and Breastfeeding

While no studies have been conducted on breastfeeding during NuvaRing use, research shows that other hormonal products similar to this medication pass through breast milk and may cause problems in nursing infants. Similar combined contraceptives have also been shown to decrease the production of breast milk. Before using NuvaRing, women should talk to their healthcare providers about the potential risks.

Is NuvaRing Safe During Breastfeeding?

NuvaRing® (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring) is a combined contraceptive similar to combined oral contraceptives (birth control pills). It is a combined contraceptive because it contains an estrogen and a progestin. In general, combined contraceptives are not recommended for breastfeeding women.

What Does the Research Say?

No studies have been conducted on this topic using NuvaRing specifically, but research has shown that other similar hormonal products pass through breast milk. There have been cases of problems such as jaundice and breast enlargement in babies whose mothers took combined oral contraceptives while breastfeeding.
In addition, combined contraceptives may decrease the production of breast milk. For this reason, progestin-only oral contraceptives (also known as "mini-pills") are almost always recommended instead of combined contraceptives in breastfeeding women.
However, progestin-only contraceptive pills are usually less effective than combined contraceptives. As soon as you stop breastfeeding, it may be a good idea to ask your healthcare provider about switching to a combined contraceptive product such as NuvaRing.

Talking With Your Healthcare Provider About Breastfeeding and NuvaRing Use

You should discuss NuvaRing and breastfeeding with your healthcare provider. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, the two of you can make a shared decision that is right for you.
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD
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