NuvaRing® and HPV
The NuvaRing® and HPV (human papillomavirus infection) may be an issue for some women. As a vaginal ring that releases a progestin and an estrogen for three weeks of each four-week period, the NuvaRing® has been in the news lately because of its range of bothersome and sometimes quite serious side effects. HPV is a virus that roughly 75 - 85 percent of all sexually active people in the U.S have, although many individuals don't realize that they're infected.
HPV, Genital Warts and Cervical Cancer
HPV causes almost all cases of genital warts and cervical cancer, and it is the number-one cause of abnormal Pap smears (the test designed to detect abnormal cells of the cervix). There are more than 80 different strains of HPV, and currently, there is no cure for HPV. Thus, HPV is a very serious public health problem.
A vaccine that protects against several types of HPV was released fairly recently in the U.S. by the pharmaceutical company Merck: Gardasil. It's a somewhat controversial vaccine because it is most effective at its intended purpose — preventing cervical cancer — if it's administered before the onset of sexual activity (it's approved for use in females as young as nine years old).
NuvaRing® Use Not Recommended for Those with Cervical Cancer
The official website for NuvaRing® gives many precautionary instructions regarding who should not use the NuvaRing® birth control method. In the section titled, "Do not use NuvaRing® if you have any of the following conditions," one of the 16 different main categories of women who should not use a NuvaRing® is those with:
"Known or suspected — cancer of the lining of the uterus, cervix, or vagina (now or in the past)"
If you are concerned about HPV and NuvaRing® use, ask your physician or other healthcare provider for more information. For general information about the NuvaRing® and NuvaRing® side effects, please contact us today.
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