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

Thu, Jan 8, 2009

Advice, What's Up Doc?

nuvaring

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. kryrinn Says:

    I’ve been on the nuva ring for a while now, and I love it. I’m horrible at taking pills, and this is how i can be 100% sure that i’m protected. People have said things about it, but people say a lot of things and I know it works for me. The best way to know is to try it!

  2. Leah Says:

    I have been on the NuvaRing for almost 6 1/2 years. Hands down it is the best birth control I have ever been on. Without birth control, my period are erratic, long and heavy. Since being on NR, I usually wear no more than a pantyliner, for only three days, always starting the same day at around the same time. And it’s not a pill. If that’s not birth control precision, I don’t know what is.

  3. Katie Says:

    I’m surprised the NuvaRing is getting such bad press. To be honest, I spiraled into a year-long depression that started right when I began the Pill. My doctor explained that when you take a pill every day, it’s a small hormone spike every day. But when something like the Nuvaring is inserted in you, it’s steady levels–AND actually lower hormone levels than the Pill gives. Sometimes you just have to go through a few contraceptive methods to find one that doesn’t make you, well, crazy.

    I think it’s also important to note that for women who tend to forget a pill once in awhile, Nuvaring helps keep your birth control up to that “99% effective” advertised level, because you don’t have to worry about taking the pill at the same time each day.

    Anyways, I’m a young, athletic female who is sexually active and I’ve never had any problems with it. My emotions have leveled out again and a sexual partner has never “complained” about it–I think some women worry about this too.

  4. Emily Says:

    My friend was on the ring and said that it made her very sensitive, and sometimes she hurt while having sex. I have been using the pill for over a year and once in a while forget to take it…but I am afraid to go on the ring because I don’t want to start being really sensitive!

  5. Jamie Says:

    The ring is the best thing ever. For the first two weeks I was a little sensitive (think crying in petsmart for homeless kittens), but after that, it has been smooth sailing for 3 years. The best thing about the ring is that it doesn’t seem to have much weight gain associated with it, and that I don’t have to think about bc for three weeks at a time. The only downside is that it is really expensive, even with my insurance.

  6. Brenda Says:

    I have been using NuvaRing for nearly a year now, after trying the Pill (8 years) and the Patch (2 years). This is by far the BEST birth control method I have ever used.

    Everyone is guilty of missing a pill here and there, and I love that freedom! I have my dates to remove and insert my NuvaRing set in my cellphone so that I never have to think about it.

    My boyfriend and I like the reliability of knowing that we are 99% protected every month. He doesn’t notice it, and it has not affected our intimate life. I think it has helped (not worrying about pregnancy).

    I think my friends are usually “weirded” out by the idea of the ring (insertion & leaving it there), but it is no different than say using a tampon during your menstrual cycle. It really only takes a month to get used to it!

    I agree that every woman should at least try the ring. It is one of those products that once you try it, you wonder why EVERYone isn’t on board with it.

    I am lucky that with my insurance, one fill-up (four rings) is only $10. I don’t have anything negative to say about the ring. Go for it!

  7. angelbaby_cc Says:

    I tried NuvaRing for about 6 months and would never ever use it again or reccomend it to ANYONE!!! I had such severe migranes while useing it and had “spotting” (more like a period) for about 4 months of the 6 I used it.

    But if it works for you, that is great! I just would never use it again.

  8. Ariel Says:

    I have been using the Nuva Ring for 3 years now and it is the best HBC I have ever used. I barely give it a second thought (and not just because I only have to “take” it once a month)… I have virtually no side effects, I don’t feel like I’m “on” anything. Just another good testimonial for the ring; I’m surprised to hear it’s getting bad press… everyone I know that is on it also loves it.

  9. Neeva Says:

    Nuva Ring was the first hormonal birth control method I tried. Like angelbaby_cc I got migraine. I stopped after two months.
    Besides the ring had a really annoying tendence to slip down and nearly out, so I did notice it, no matter what the leaflet said.

    But one should try it, every woman reacts different.

  10. CM Says:

    NuvaRing is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. It cleared up my acne (I looked like a before picture for Accutane but I refused to take it because of the risks), stopped my irritability, stopped my periods, reduced my migraines, and stopped my breasts from becoming sore and heavy during that time of the month. I have gained a pants size, but I don’t know if it’s due to the Ring or the fact I graduated from college and have a job where I move around a lot less than when I was in school. My insurance covers $1 of the $52 cost, and it’s worth it to me to spend about $50 a month and myself being the best I’ve ever been. I know NuvaRing isn’t for everyone, there is a brand of BC for each and every woman, and I’m ecstatic that I’ve finally found something that works for me.

  11. Rachel Says:

    I used the NuvaRing for only a month I hated it so much. It’s definitely not for me. I had to adjust it often and even though I knew it wasn’t really possible, I was always afraid it would slip out. It also made sex really uncomfortable for me. Not for everyone, I guess.

  12. Elizabeth Says:

    I’ve been using the Nuvaring for 2 years now, and I love it! I haven’t had any um, scares at all. It is honestly just entirely worth it for me. It’s so easy, seems to have few bad side effects. Yeah, it’s just great. :)

  13. Sherri Says:

    I just started this about 4 months ago, and it has really helped lessen my period and with knowing i am always being covered in the pregnancy aspect. I have been freaked out about the blood clots and stuff that have been advertised, but maybe that is just advertising.. I would suggest this to anyone!

  14. Michelle Says:

    I’ve been using Nuva Ring for 4 months (about to start month number 5). I used the pill many years ago and recently decided to try the ring, I love it! It took about two months for my emotions to level and for my periods to become regular again but lets be honest here you’re pumping hormones into your body so it’s gonna take a little time to adjust. I have no complaints at all. I did tons of research on all types of different bc before I finally made a decision. I also about scared myself to death by reading all of the online posts about side effects and mishaps. Then I talked to my doctor about it, he told me that every body reacts differently so I won’t know unless I gave it a try. So I did and I have no interest in switching to any other method in the future. I love the Nuva Ring, I say go for it! If you don’t like it, try something. If you decide to give it a go, I recommend giving it at least three months before making a final decision. Good luck!

  15. mina Says:

    im 22 and i’ve been using the pill for the past year. since then i’ve noticed i was swollen down there and it was harder for me to get in the mood. and when i finally got in the mood it was painful. i never had this problem before and for me to have this problem so young bothered me. i didnt have any infections or anything like that so my doctor suggested nuvaring. i had my doubts but since i started i had no swelling and my sex drive went up. im extremely satisfied with this method of bc.

  16. Heartburn Home Remedy Says:

    After reading through this article, I feel that I need more information on the topic. Can you share some more resources ?

  17. Tom Says:

    Listen, I know that not everybody has had a terrible experience with the Nuva Ring, but not everybody dies from a bullet to the brain either! My girlfriend was on it for six months before all hell broke loose, and had been on different forms of birth controls most of her life (severe PMS symptoms) and she is bad at taking pills too. The doctor taught her how to insert it and told her exactly how long to have it in. After about (ONLY) a week, she started having severe mood swings. Not anger, just bouts of depression, then laughter. Slight anger, but only because she was upset at the mood swings. Then, after two months, everything seemed a bit normal. After six months, however…all hell broke loose. She would be driving her car, then suddenly veer off the road narrowly missing traffic just to sob, sob, sob, sob, sob. About nothing. She’d be crying because she was going two miles an hour over the speed limit. Or because she was sad that a bug hit the windshield. Then she’d laugh at herself. I’d chuckle with her, then she’d cry that I was laughing with her. Then I’d stop laughing, calm her down, she’d start laughing again, I wouldn’t laugh, and she’d start sobbing because she was laughing alone. I’d finally get her normal again, and she’d start screaming at the top of her lungs because she hated what the ring was doing to her. Yeah, it’s great, but it’s not for all people. There are worse stories I can think of, but I really don’t want to say (like, nearly being stabbed and her talking about suicide). She really hasn’t been the same since she stopped using it either. She is nowhere near as bad, but now, even regular bc affects her. Oh well, just proceed with caution until they take this thing off the market as I hope they do.

  18. Elizabeth Says:

    Tom – do you know for sure that your gf was having mood issues because of the ring? I mean, I realize that it happened soon after she started taking it, but honestly, it sounds like a LOT more than just birth control. Especially if it didn’t stop. Did she talk to a doctor about it? Or a psychologist or something? It just seems VERY extreme.

    And I have to say, I realize you have had a bad experience, but the Nuvaring has been much much better for me than other types of birth control. Not about the whole taking pills thing – that’s not that big of an issue with me. It’s honestly because it uses a lower dose of hormones than the pill does to be effective. I haven’t had problems with mood swings at all – and I did all the time with hormones. I really hope they don’t take it off the market… Because bad issues like the ones that happened to your girlfriend are rare. It really really sucks that it happened to her, and I truly hope that there is some way to fix it. And yes, everyone should know that there are risks, and some very serious risks to the Ring… but it works out fine for most of us.

  19. Missy Says:

    I have to add something on this one…I used to take the nuvaring about 6 years ago, and I don’t really remember associating any mood swings with it. But looking back, I guess it could have been possible.

    I just started again and it’s only been two weeks and I am an emotional wreck, kinda like what Tom above describes. It’s like you can cry at anything, I’m not even this bad when I’m not on BC. My boyfriend and I are fighting a lot and he’s pretty positive it’s not the “real me”. I’m gonna do the three months that I bought and hope that this mood evens itself out, but believe me that if it doesn’t I will be back on this site writing another update…

  20. Missy Says:

    Oh, and the sex drive…yeah, I can concur…I’m definitely not the same

  21. lacy Says:

    I have never been a fan of any sort of hormonal birth control, I hate the idea of having to experiment with my hormones, and I think there is something eery about tricking your body into thinking its pregnant. But, I also don’t want to get pregnant, so I pushed my doctor to give me a copper IUD, which I’ve had for three years and am thrilled with. I feel that not a lot of info is ever given on the IUD in the states but everywhere else in the world they give em out like candy. In fact, if you’ve had a contraceptive accident you can have an IUD placed in up to seven days after the incident, without the risk and side effects of heavy dose of hormones. But, I digress, with an IUD you have in placed in utero and then you NEVER worry about it for ten years! Most stuides have shown that its the most reliable form of birth control on the market, and I think you get the most bang for your buck with the least amount of outside influence on your system. It can be tricky finding a doc in the US that wants to give on to unmarried lady, (which I think is judgmental and weird) but in that situation you just have to maintain your desire to get one.
    Please post any other questions you may have and I’ll share my experience with it.

  22. Jordan Says:

    NuvaRing was the first HBC I tried. It was a couple years ago. I used it for about a month and ended up in the hospital with pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in my lungs). Despite what you’re probably expecting, I actually recommend the product. The blood clots were the result of a genetic issue that makes me more susceptible to any increase in estrogen. All I really want to say is try what sounds good to you but be aware of the possible side effects. And don’t be afraid to see your doctor if you think something isn’t right!!

  23. Kate Says:

    I have to agree w/ Lacy. I have a copper IUD and I really like it. I have never handled hormone BC well. It always cut my sex drive way back and I never really felt “right.” The IUD is expensive upfront but it is there for the long haul. I get regular periods and I’ve never had big PMS issues on or off the IUD (I know I’m lucky). And you don’t have to even remember it monthly. It is a one time deal in and one time deal out.

    For me, it is reassuring that the plumbing is still working, but that I’m not getting pregnant until I’m ready to. When I’m ready I can have it removed and my body is good to go the next month. I don’t have to wait months and months for the hormones to cycle out of my system. Even though I wasn’t protected from pregnancy the lingering hormones were still there and affected me for months and months when I got off hormone BC.

  24. susan Says:

    dear dr kate

    i put my last ring in a week late and this ring fell out a week early and i can’t find it to put it back in. at my pharmacy they can’t fill it until the sunday i put it in. can i get pregnant? only been on the ring for three months

  25. Dr. Kate Says:

    Susan, yes, you’re at risk of pregnancy: when you put the ring in late, you may have already ovulated…and not having a ring in for 3 full weeks may lead you to ovulate this month. So use condoms till you can get your next ring, and use it for the full 3 weeks…and take a pregnancy test if you don’t get your next period as expected.

  26. madison Says:

    Dear dr.kate,

    I just got a sample of the nuvaring and although it’s 99% effective, my boyfriend and I would like to know if it is safe to ejaculate inside of me while on the nuvaring?

  27. Dr. Kate Says:

    Madison, as long as you use the ring on a consistent schedule – it’s in your body for at least 3 weeks (but no more than 5), then is out for no more than one week – you’re protected against pregnancy. He can then ejaculate inside you, whether the ring is in or not. The one precaution – during your first cycle of using the ring, you should use condoms for the first week, to give the ring a chance to get going.

  28. Fairy23 Says:

    Well ladies,

    Let me tell you, I was on birth control (the pill) for about 4 years I took it always at the same time I mean I was pretty much anal about it seeing as I didn’t want to get pregnant. But it does get tiring taking a pill everyday so I decided to talk to my doctor about other forms of birth control. The patch first of all is a bit sketchy, come on a patch that is suppose to stick onto our body’s no matter what and you can put it on the same place when you replace it SORRY don’t buy it if that’s the case let me have the magical pill that I only have to take once a month. The Depo shot to many people say that they have gained weight and quite frankly as ladies we don’t want that. Plus I did some research on it and they said yeah you might gain weight but only 10 pounds the most, NO THANKS. Ok then we have the IUD, Ladies out of all birth control don’t do this one if one day you want to have kids I have heard that this can actually leave you sterile. Think about it who the HELL wants to have a piece of copper or whatever by their cervix for a couple of years at least the other forms of birth control we have control over them. So to the point, I told my Dr. you know what I will try the nuvaring like most of you I was excited WOW something that I have to do only twice a month remove old put new one it, It sounded great. So I started it, Yeah its a little weird placing something up their that you really don’t know how to so I went on the internet and educated myself on how to place it, actually on the nuvaring website they have pics on how to do it. During sex my bf says he cant feel it so I was like cool. But now I have been on it for 7 months and Ladies at this point I really don’t care how close the nuvaring might be to the magical pill. Sex sucks and no it is not my partner. It HURTS like a bit

  29. Fairy23 Says:

    Sorry submitted by accident let me finish…….

    It HURTS like a bitch, I hate having sex cause it hurts so much I feel soooo sensitive. Not only that I have noticed that the last 4 months that I got my period SEVERELY HURTS. Every time my period is going to come down it feels like I’m going to get a bladder infection, and it almost seems like my period does not want to come down and eventually it will….but boy does it HURT… So I am kinda afraid I might get a blood clot, Oh and I have been more touchy feely about things and I want to cry than the usual cry at everything when your on your period. So for these reasons I have decided to see my Dr. this coming Monday and tell her the side effects I have been having. And Ladies I have decided to go back on the pill, I love getting down and I want to ENJOY it not only that but this nuvaring HURTS. Ladies in life we have to remember that the perfect thing doesn’t exist out their and sometimes actually all the time when we want something we have to give up something. Like I want stop crying, enjoy sex, periods don’t HURT. So in-order to do that I have to give up the wannabe magical pill and go back to the pill. Remember Ladies we are all giving our opinions and advice but at the end of the day it is up to you to decide and which one you feel more comfortable with…. Hope I was helpful..

  30. Kelly Says:

    I am on Nuvaring now for getting my period too much. I was getting it every other week for six months but can’t take the pill cause it turns me into MEGABITCH. I too have been more emotional since being on Nuvaring, but it has had the opposite effects with everything else. It has made my periods lighter and shorter, though they are more painful. I don’t have any pain with sex, and my guy doesn’t feel it either, if I put it in correctly. I am on my period when it goes in, so sometimes I don’t get it up far enough, but usually fix it if my guy notices it during the deed. It does seem like my period doesn’t want to arrive too. Nuvaring works for me though, bc it delivers the hormones locally instead of through my bloodstream. Good luck with whatever bc option you choose.

  31. Fairy23 Says:

    Kelly,

    Thanks for the feed back…. Yeah this ring is killing me, its great dont get me wrong. Its way easier than the pill and my periods are a little more less than when i was on the pill. But I hate it when it comes to that time of the month cause the pain is unbelievable… I have gotten a bladder infection before and they are a pain in the ASS it the worst pain to have. I just dont think its healthy or normal that I am in pain and that it feels like my period does not want to come down. But like you said in the end it is up to us to go with whatever we feel most comfortable. Good luck back to and the Ring. If the Dr. tells me something about the symptoms I have with the period problem I will let you know.

  32. Michelle Says:

    I’ve been on the Nuvaring for about 9 months. I had been on 5-6 different pills before and wanted the convience of the ring. And I loved it! Until now.

    It was great at first, no side effects at all. Then this last 2 months hits and BAM. 10 lbs gain, 5 yeast infections and a completely lost sex drive and I think I’m done with it.

    So many comments from people seem to have the same notes: everyone loves it for a certian, varying length of time, then the side effects hit full force.

    I’d say to everyone out there: Try it! It’s super convient and works well, but watch your body continuously. If you’re changing and your habits haven’t, try changing BC. Every type is different for every woman.

    Congrats to the people that it works for, and too bad for those of us it didn’t. Hormones aren’t fun, manipulating them is even worse, but if we didn’t think the benefits outweighed the drawbacks, no one would be using them! I’m on to try Yasmin!

  33. Rose Says:

    Hi everyone!

    I just started NV a week and a half ago and I have a paranoid question. During the first 7 days I used condoms, and twice I took the ring out (just for half an hour or so each time) and put it back in right away. I then had unprotected sex on the 7th day (about 5 hours after it had been a full 7 days since starting the ring), I was protected right? I suddenly got nervous that I should have waited longer! Also, I had the ring for about 2 months before I used it (it was not expired don’t worry) but it did sit in my room during the whole month of august and the room probably reached pretty high temperatures at some points, do you think this caused it to be less affective? thanks!

  34. Fairy23 Says:

    Honestly,

    I don’t know what to tell you….. one thing I know for sure is that the NV should be in the refrigerator until you are ready or until it is time to actually insert the ring again. They should have even told you that when you picked it up at the pharmacy the pharmacist should have told you that. Anytime time you start a new contraceptive Dr. usually tell you to give yourself a month before you start having unprotected sex, that way your body gets use to it and everything is pretty much settled. But if I were you I would talk to a Dr. and ask him/her, cause if your bf ejaculated in you and you didn’t have the ring in I don’t know how that works. Just call the Dr. office and ask if you can talk to an RN and just tell her your worries. Good Luck.

  35. Jamie Says:

    I tried using Nuva Ring and had a very negative experience. I was only on it for a month, but I had a heavy period flow and cramps for the whole month. The pharmacist said that it was probably too low of a dose of hormones for my body and it caused me to stay on my period constantly.

    I also had a friend who used it, and it actually got pushed up into her vagina so far she couldn’t reach it. She had to go to the doctor to get it removed. Needless to say neither one of us use this method of birth control anymore. But, others seem to have very different experiences with it. So I guess you’ll never know until you try it.

  36. Taylor Says:

    Dear Dr. Kate,

    I have read almost all f these post and none of them seem to apply to my sitchuation. Some are close but not quit the same. I hope this isnt a repeat post, as I see you get those a lot! Now i just hope i can explain this so that it makes since.
    I have been on the nuva ring for about 3 years, and have never had spotting before.
    I do not remember the exact date but sometime in the week before aug 16th I took out my nuva ring bc it was time (it had been in for about 3 weeks) and I had started my period. I put a new one in about a week later on aug 16th, I believe maybe a day or 2 before. (I keeo track of the dates in my phone calander, and my phone broke so I lost the exact dates) Anyway I continued lightly bleeding, not enough to need a tampon. But i started noticing an odor after about a week of bleeding while the ring was in. So after having my period for one week, then lightly bleeding with the ring in for 2 weeks and a odor for one of those weeks I decided to take the ring out on sept 2 and just have my normal period. After having the ring out for about 3 days my period got lighter and I had unprotected sex (but he pulled out) on late saturday night early sunday morning sept 6 and put a new ring in on sunday during the day (my period was completely done and the odor had gone awau). Could I get pregent from this? and can you explain the odor?
    THANK YOU!

  37. Taylor Says:

    Oh and should i get the plan b pill for this sitchuation?

  38. SarahMonster Says:

    I used the ring for about 9 months, and liked that I didn’t have to think about it everyday, and it wasn’t as hard to purge from my system as the Depo shot. The only side effect that I noticed is that it decreased the amount of natural lubrication I produced during sex if I kept it in. (I was always too paranoid to take it out for sex.) Also, I have a rather petite vaginal canal, and my husband is rather endowed, it made it a bit uncomfortable at times. Other than that, as far as effectiveness, I loved it.

  39. Dr. Kate Says:

    Rose, after 7 days of doubling up with condoms, you should have been protected against pregnancy this cycle. The ring manufacturer recommends keeping the ring away from extreme heat…but it’s hard to say for sure what that does to its effectiveness.

    Taylor, because the ring wasn’t in for a full 3 weeks, yes, there’s a chance that you ovulated and could have become pregnant. The withdrawal method (him pulling out) is better than nothing, but isn’t great:
    http://www.gynotalk.com/2009/08/pulling-out-is-in.html
    Yes, I would definitely take plan B as back-up next time – but it’s only good for the first 5 days after sex. If you don’t get a period as expected this month, take a pregnancy test. The odor may be due to a bacterial vaginosis infection: http://www.gynotalk.com/2009/08/all-that-itches-isnt-yeast.html. You can see your gyno for an exam to be sure.

  40. Bethy Says:

    I used Nuva Ring for 3 years, having used oral pills and condoms before that. I loved it, never had a single side effect or issue, no weight gain or moodiness. Partners never had any issues, never had it “fall out”, and my insurance covered the lion’s share of the cost. I stopped because I lost my insurance, but that is THE method I would use again in a hot minute if I could afford it. Love love love the nuva ring!

  41. Mary Says:

    After three months on NuvaRing, I also had pulmonary embolisms, with shortness of breath as the only physical symptoms. The odds are actually 15 women in 10,000. However, like Jordan, I still love and wish I could use the product. I have been on and off various oral birth controls for the past ten years (ironic that the PE would happen with the lowest dose med of them all), and this one didn’t cause mood swings or weight gain like the others. I have always had chronic migraines (up to 16 a month) and NuvaRing actually helped significantly because it was a constant dosage.

    Since the PE, I’m disallowed any hormonal birth control and totally mourning the loss of NuvaRing as an option. Since I’m nowhere near marriage but very paranoid, not sure what to do as a backup method of birth control beyond condoms – the doctors are all hesitant about an implant, and Depo has its own issues.

  42. Maggie Says:

    Dr. Kate
    I just inserted the NuvaRing for the first time today and I am wondering if I should expect to see any symptoms within the next few days/weeks. I was previously on yaz, but I wanted something that I didn’t have to worry about every day since I already have an anxiety pill that I take.
    I never had any difficulty with symptoms from yaz (I did have crazy mood swings on ortro tri-cyclin lo though), but I was wondering since this is a different form of hormonal regulation if I should be watchful.

    Thanks!

  43. Lissa Says:

    I am a former NuvaRing user. While I had it, I loved the convenience of it. I loved never having to worry about missing a pill. However, NuvaRing gave me the worst side effects I’ve ever had from hormonal birth control (HBC). It triggered a depression reaction in me and had me wanting to commit suicide. While I realize that this is not a normal reaction, I want others to be aware, so that if they do try some form of HBC and feel off, that they should consider it as a potential source for the problems. In my depressed state it took me months before realizing it was the ring that was causing it. I wish it had worked for me. Now I’m an IUD user though, and that is easy, it’s there and it’s good for 5+ years.

  44. Kenna Says:

    This post has given me a lot of relief! I Just started the NuvaRing at the beginning of this month (I used the patch for almost 6 years and my new gyno recommended NR as a replacement since apparently the patch is getting phased out a bit?) and all of the negative reviews have had me nervous. I did experience moodiness for the first week, which I knew is normal when your body goes off and back onto hormonal therapy – and it seems to have evened out already. I became more nervous today when I had some slight spotting after sex as well. I’m hoping this is fairly normal (If it isn’t please someone give me a heads up!). But after seeing so many great reviews I’m going to stop worrying about it so much and let my body get used to it.

  45. Dr. Kate Says:

    Mary, have you thought about an IUD? The Mirena may be perfect for you.

    Maggie, the most common initial side effects are spotting and increased discharge (but not infection). Since you’re going from the pill to the ring, that decreases your chances of abnormal bleeding.

    Lissa, I’m so sorry you had such a rough time, and I’m glad you’ve got a method that works for you.

    Kenna, spotting with or without sex is very normal. If the odd bleeding persists after a few cycles, though, see your gyno.

  46. emandlo Says:

    Hi everyone,

    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” — read it here:

    http://www.emandlo.com/2009/10/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-nuva-ring/

    So fyi, she will no longer be answering any Nuva Ring questions in this or any other comments section. The lady only has so much time.

    – Em & Lo

  47. Mary loo Says:

    I have been using nuvaring for about 3 month now, i have been using it as directed three weeks in and one week out. I had unprotected sex for the first time amd he ejaculated in me on monday evening and am suppose to tale the ring out on friday?? Am i safe from hetting pregnant, should i take plan b or not? And sjould i talle the ring out on time or sjoild i keep it for an extra week?? Please help

  48. krystal Says:

    I am very bad at taking pills. And I usually stop takin them. That’s why the nuvaring works for me, I’m moody all the time so I don’t notice a change but I have slight acne that hopes to be cleared up by the ring , so far so gooD

  49. Mira Says:

    Jamie:
    I don’t think you’ll come back to read this after so many months, but…

    The vagina is only so deep. I’m kind of confused about how the ring could have gotten “lost” inside your friend. I mean, if you are relaxed and well-lubricated, you can touch your own cervix. Really! Give it a try! (Wash your hands well and trim your nails first, though.)

    Oh, and I’ve been using the ring for 5 years now and have had no problems with it. But it’s not for everyone. *Tylenol* isn’t for everyone. Some people react badly to Nyquil. Medications have side effects, and they affect different people in different ways, and there’s not enough research on what happens when you combine different medications or when you mix medications with different foods. So you might be fine with medication X, but mix X with grapefruit, and all hell will break loose, for instance.

  50. Paula Says:

    I have been on several forms of birth control for the last 15 years (depo shot, patch and now the ring). I gained almost 40 pounds on the dept shot, which truly has caused me a great deal of sadness and I have yet to lose. I went on to the patch after hearing great things – that is until the lawsuits began. My doctor suggested changing over to the ring and I have been VERY happy with it. I have decided, however, to “give my body a break” for several months and get off of everything to work on losing this weight I gained almost 9 years ago. I definitely plan on going back on the ring once I get my workout on – that is, I HOPE to lose some of this weight. I have heard horror stories of women gaining MORE weight after coming off the ring:(


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  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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