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Dear Dr. Kate: Can You Tell Me All About the NuvaRing?

Thu, Feb 5, 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. After her recent post on the NuvaRing, a lot of you asked for more information on this birth control device, so here goes:

The NuvaRing is one of my favorite forms of hormonal contraception — all of the benefits of the Pill, without the daily hassle of remembering to use it. But since the Ring hasn’t been around as long as the Pill, many women have a lot of questions about using it. So I thought I’d address the most common Ring issues that come up in my office. When using the Ring….

What’s okay to put in your vagina:

  • A penis. Intercourse will not push the ring up into your pelvis, or to any place where you can’t retrieve it. And semen/sperm will not diminish the ring’s effectiveness.
  • A vibrator or other toys. Same as above.
  • Tampons. Ditto.
  • Medication. It’s fine to treat a yeast infection with over-the-counter creams like Monistat, or to treat vaginosis with prescription MetroGel. You don’t need to rinse the ring off afterward, either — the medication will all absorb eventually.

What’s okay to come out of your vagina:

  • The ring before sex. If sex is uncomfortable with the ring in place, just take it out. It sounds counter-intuitive, to take out your birth control before having sex. But the ring works its magic by turning off your ovaries — and the hormones will remain in your system after the ring comes out. You can remove the ring for up to three hours without losing effectiveness (and if anyone is having sex longer than three hours, please share your good fortune with the rest of us!). Just be sure to put it back in before you roll over and go to sleep.
  • Increased discharge. It doesn’t mean you have an infection — it’s just your vagina’s way of reducing friction with the ring in place. Think of it as more lubrication for sex.

Do any of you have questions about using the NuvaRing? [[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

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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268 Responses to “Dear Dr. Kate: Can You Tell Me All About the NuvaRing?”

  1. samanth Says:

    i just started the nuva ring the begining of sept had not yet started my period it is now october 17th and i still haventy started am i pregnant or is my period really late because of the nuvaring?

  2. Diana galaz Says:

    I am going to start nuva ring soon when i get my period but im a little scared because a lot of my friends were saying that its dangerous because what if later you can’t have kids when you want to because of the nuva ring. so now im scared and un sure if i should take it.

  3. Crystal Says:

    Dear kate I have been on the nuvaring sence I had my son 2 months ago.I just have one small question, Can you have sex while the nuva ring is out for that week?

  4. Rachel Says:

    I just went off the Nuvaring after being on it for almost eight months. In terms of convenience, the Nuvaring was the best birth control I’ve tried so far, and I even left it in during sex most of the time, which didn’t bother my boyfriend at all. But in my time of being on the Nuvaring, I had between one and two yeast infections a month. In the end, I was spending more money on Monistat per month than I was on my birth control. Nuvaring may not affect everyone this way, but it ended up being torturous. I’m now happy to have to remember to take the pill everyday–at least it doesn’t give me regular infections.

  5. amanda Says:

    so you take nuva ring out for a week so you can have ur period. after 3 weeks of it being in. is it ok to have sex durrung the week its out?

  6. Brittney Says:

    Ive been on nuvaribg for about 2 urs and always get my scares. I accidently took out my nuvaribg a week early but put it back in 7days. did I screw up and need to take another birth control or am I fine?

  7. Breanna Says:

    How long after inserting the ring will it become effective?

  8. Codi Says:

    Love the Nuvaring!! I’ve been using it for 2 years and it is incredible… convenient, simple, and quick.

  9. april Says:

    I have 2 questions… First one is while on nuvairing can you still have inter course? And the second on is my doctor told me too put it in after or during my period …. I had intercourse and still waiting for my period to use it its Bine 3 weeks since I didn’t get my period am i pregnant?

  10. Dana Says:

    Can I rinse off the Nuvaring once a week for cleanliness once inserted to the vagina ?

  11. Tess Says:

    My best friend just spent 1 week in the hospital after having the device removed…. it caused her to have blood clots in her lungs. She had came off the pill, and chose this as an alturnative.

  12. Alyssa Says:

    I’ve been on nuva ring for over a year now and this summer I haave been stressed and havnt been paying attention, I accidentally left my nuva ring in for 3 more day and took it out and I for got to put it back in it been a week or two, so now I’m even more stressed. Soo can ii just put a new nuva ringback in or not idk how this works help!!

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  1. [...] Ive been using nuvaring for about two months now, an hav had regular periods…Alicia on "Dear Dr. Kate: Can You Tell Me All About the NuvaRing?" [...]

  2. [...] dear kate; on november 27th i started my period and had sex on the 29th…candice on "Dear Dr. Kate: Can You Tell Me All About the NuvaRing?" [...]

  3. [...] the NuvaRing than any other method — for proof, just check out the comments sections of my posts “Tell Me About the Nuva Ring” and“Does the Nuva Ring Deserve Its Bad Press.” The ring just doesn’t seem to be as [...]

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