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Dr. Kate: Does the NuvaRing Deserve Its Bad Press?

Thu, Jan 8, 2009

Advice, What's Up Doc?


Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City who’ll be answering your medical questions here regularly:

Dr. Kate,

I’m writing you because I’m a bit confused about NuvaRing. I would like to try it and I’m fitted to do so (no weight, age, smoking issues…) but I can read a lot of negative testimonies on the internet and it seems that many lawyers are trying to do a class action against this product. The abundance of negative info makes me confused. Do you think that they are just motivated by greed and that the product being FDA-approved should not present more dangers than any other contraceptives? Do you think that these lawyers are right and that NuvaRing presents more dangers than other contraceptives?

– Wannabe Ringer

Dear Ringer,

Birth control in all its forms is a magnet for negative feelings, bad press, and class-action lawsuits. So many folks find the idea of birth control abominable at heart, that it’s not “natural,” or that women shouldn’t be interfering with their fertility in any way. And these feelings influence how they talk about their experiences — or worse, about what’s “right” for other women. You’ll often find that unhappy people are the ones motivated to blog about their experiences, or talk to reporters, or approach lawyers. And if it makes for a good story, or a possible case in court, they’ll find reporters and lawyers who are only too eager to listen.

The FDA, for all its faults, puts all birth control methods through a rigorous approval process — manufacturers seem to have even more hoops to jump through than makers of other drugs and devices. So once a contraceptive has been FDA-approved, you can take some comfort in what the studies must have shown about its efficacy and safety. I can tell you that the studies of the NuvaRing — and there are many — are all in agreement about both the effectiveness and the safety of the ring. While all contraceptives carry rare to small risks of serious side effects, the NuvaRing is no worse than the others. So I would say try it!

Best of luck,
Dr. Kate

[[Editors' note: Dr. Kate compiled all the most common questions she gets about the Nuva Ring and answered them in a post called "Everything You Need to Know About the Nuva Ring," so she will no longer be answering any Nuva Ring questions in this or other comments sections. The lady only has so much time.]]

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts¬†research on reproductive health. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.

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54 Responses to “Dr. Kate: Does the NuvaRing Deserve Its Bad Press?”

  1. Emily Says:

    I’m 16 years old and
    I have been on the Nuva Ring for one full month now. I just recently put it back in last Friday, but I was supposed to put it in on Thursday. Will this affect my monthly schedule or should I not worry about it? ALSO; MY boy and I have developed these weird rash type things on our private parts. He has a red, inrritable ring around the shaft of his penis right below the head and mine just itches like mad! and kinda stings. My mom said it sounds like a yeast infection but I want outside opinions.

  2. Shanah Says:

    Well, I am just now about to start eh nubaring, just purchased it and its in my fridge at the moment. I am just so skeptical when it comes to birth control, I am mentally disabled sot his adds to that stress.

    I am just worried about what teh chances are of me getting pregnant if i do not use condoms. I just this last year got rid of a Mirena IUD. The one thing that i miss most about the UID was not having to use the expensive lambskin condoms. I am latex allergic and have severe sensitivities to non latex condoms, including frequent infections.

    Now that we are back to using condoms, we are spending a lot of money, and not enjoying our time together. Being in a faithful 7 year long relationship, sex is important to our intimacy, and keeping the relationship low stress.

    I would love nothing more than to go back to having stress free intimacy with my bf, but just how safe am I in deciding to eliminate condoms again?!


  1. [...] teaching hospitals in New York City who’ll be answering your medical questions here regularly. After her recent post on the NuvaRing, a lot of you asked for more information on this birth control device, so here [...]

  2. [...] Hi everyone, Dr. Kate compiled all the most common questions she gets about the…emandlo on "Dr. Kate: Does the NuvaRing Deserve Its Bad Press?" [...]

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