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

Still have more questions about the NuvaRing? Then check out Dr. Kate’s follow-up post, Everything You Need to Know About the Nuva Ring

Dr. Kate of Gynotalk.com 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.


  1. I’m on the pill (I have been for 5 years) and while it doesn’t bother me, I totally understand the appeal of the nuvaring. Interesting facts, I like the idea of having this alternative.

  2. The NuvaRing gave me horrible acne on my chin and neck. It also made my boobs bigger / fuller and more tender, especially just before that time of the month. There were several other side effects as well, and I have tried it twice in my life as well as Ortho Tri-Cyclin Lo. I always use a male condom with my male partners, I’m going to investigate female condoms next as an alternative.

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  6. 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!!

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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?

  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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?

  15. Hi, I started Nuvaring in May and decided not to take it anymore as of sept 5th because I feel I’m ready for another child! Was just wondering how long it could take to become pregnant again?

  16. hi ,my period started yesterday ,and i inserted the ring ,but after i took it off because my period was very painfull,so i placed it back in the bag and then i the fridge ,is it ok to put i back in after more than 4 hours even though this is the first time am using it ?

  17. I stopped taking the nuvaring because it made me depressed, lost my sex drive, had trouble breathing… just felt like something was very wrong with me.. I had my last period on june 27 started the ring on the 10th of july and 3 weeks after that i put in the new one. I was trying to avoid having a period. I stopped the ring on the 9th in the morning.. I still havent gotten my period and have symptoms of being preggo, but i heard thats common when stopping. Should I be worried or does it take a week to get my period?

  18. I’m a user of nuvaring but every time i have sex i remove it, then when done i put it back in…. my question is can i still get pregnant that way

  19. I use nuvaring but every time i have sex i takes it out, then when im done i put it back in…. can i get pregnant that y

  20. I removed my nuvaring out a week early forgetting it was suppose to be 3 weeks, then I put one in a week after and 3 weeks later after I took out the nuvaring, I havent had my period for 3 days so far. I was wondering if it had to do with me putting it in on the day I was suppose to have my period, but at the same time I dont know if it maybe means I am pregnant. what should I do? 3 days without the dated period.

  21. i have been using nuva ring for 3 days now since my last period. last night i removed it to have sex and left the ring in a cool clean environment, anyways i saw it just now at 6:30 pm the next day,i forgot to put it back in before i went to bed. can i re-insert that same ring and still have the same effectiveness, or should i just go get a new one

  22. i’m wondering if the nuvaring reduces you sex hormones like doesn’t make you not want to as much,and also during the seven days i take it out for my period is it still effective like whats the protection i have during that 7 days?

  23. Dear Kate, I had sex a day after putting the ring back in and beeing ring free for 7 days, and while my boyfriend and I were having sex the ring fell, so I put it back in but it didn’t feel confortable no more so I decided to take it out and we just had unprotected sex, but put the ring back in before the 3 hours, so I’am wondering if I’am still protected eventhough I was ring free for 7 days and had unprotected sex a day after putting ring back in?
    By the way since this happend it’s been a month and now

  24. I was suppose to take my nueva ring out on the 20th and didnt take it out till the 24th and had sex on the 22nd…i don know what to do!! can i be pregnate?

  25. hi DR. Kate
    i have been on the nuvaring for 2 years and my 3 last periods have started late and are really light compared to my normal period and i do have unprotected sex with my boyfriend

  26. Ok well my ring came out March 23, and it was supposed to go in on the 31st of March, but I couldnt make an appointment to get another ring so I’ve been off for 12 days and I’ve had intercourse unprotected. Am I able to get pregnant now? How long does the protectivness of the ring last?

  27. dear Dr.Kate, during my 7 days off of the nuvaring ofcourse I had my mentrual cycle, but only for 3 days out of the 7…. after my cycle was done I had unprotected sex…could I still get pregnant?

    By the way, I’ve been on 2 different birth controls before (the pills yaz, and depo) each for more than 3 months….

  28. Dr. Kate,
    I have been on the NuvaRing for 4 years with no complications. This month, however, my period started 2 weeks after insertion (yesterday). Normally, I would just keep the ring in until the scheduled removal, however, I am going to the Caribbean to visit my boyfriend in 3 days and had specifically planned the trip during a time when I would NOT be bleeding. Is there anything I can do? I’m tempted to insert a new ring… would that work?

  29. I’m on the nuva ring, but i removed it since it was the last day of my cycle, but my boyfriend and i had sex a few hours prior to me removing the ring. am i still protected? or should i get plan b?

  30. if i have only been on nuvaring for 2 weeks and had sex last night without a condom should i go get the plan b or can i feel safe that i am not going to get pregnant

  31. Dr. Kate –

    I started using Nuvaring yesterday, I switched from using orthotricycline. Yesterday I was on the 2nd day of my period, however I have a special occasion this weekend that I do not want to have my period for. The nurse where I got the Nuvaring told me that if I inserted the ring, it would stop my period. Do you think this will actually work? If not, is there anything else I can do to stop my period?

  32. Dear Kate,

    I started using the Nuva Ring in Oct. I had my period from the 5th until about the 8th/9th of Feb. I always bleed for about 3-4 days even that and it’s light. I was sick and suppose to put my ring back in on the 10th of Feb and didn’t do so until the 13th. I had sex on Feb 14th with a condom but I am having cramping(or it might just be my mind freaking me out). I just need a professional opinion before I go crazy.

    Thank You 🙂

  33. This is my second month on the nuva ring, I took it out the beginning of the second week for intercourse an forgot to put it in until the next day. I put it in an started having some heavy spotting so I took it back out and had a three day period. Now my boobs are killing me and I’m super tired an nasous. If I was pregnant and didn’t kno it an took the ring out would it cause me to have a period even though I ampreggo? I’m afraid to take a test because I’m 21 an married and wAnt a baby but my husband does not. What do you think?

  34. hi Dr kate im sure you get this a lot but, i was 3 days late putting my ring back in after the 7 day cycle. i had a bunch of unprotected sex with my partner during this time. is there any chance of pregnancy because of this.thanks for your time.

  35. I have been on the NuvaRing for over 2 years now and I wouldn’t want to use anything else. I love it! No side effects. No worries. No need to remember something daily.

  36. dear kate;

    on november 27th i started my period and had sex on the 29th without a condom. i put in my nuvaring on december 2nd like my doctor told me to and she said that i could keep it in for 3 weeks then take it out on the 26th and i did but today is the 28th and i still haven’t started my period; could i be pregnant ?

  37. I took my nuvaring out on the 14 for my 1week break I was to put it back in on the 21 and now its the 27 and I just remeberd that I did not insert it and I had unprotected sex on thusday what should I do

  38. I had the ring in for 3 weeks and I didn’t take it out because I was going to skip my period but I still got my period with the ring in. I put a new ring in a few hours. I’ve had blood clots for a couple days then just blood and now I’ve been having brown discharge. Its been over 2 weeks and it hasn’t gone away. Why won’t this brown discharge go away? Or could this mean the ring wasn’t working right?

  39. I can’t completely rememeber when I put my ring in, but it was in the very beginning of last week, I was on my period. I took my nuva ring out because I thought it was stop my period, but it didn’t. My period has been going on for like, a full week now. Wtf is suppose to happen?

  40. Dr. Kate, I took my ring out on Oct 13th and got my period on Oct 16th. I was sick and forgot to put my ring back in the follow week. That week I also had a Doctor’s appointment and my Dr. advised not to put the new ring back in because I had past the 7 day window and could possibly have conceived already. She advised not to put another ring in until my next period which I still have not gotten yet. My fiance and I have continued to have unprotected sex every week since my last period. On the ring I normally would have a 26-28day cycle. When I’m not on any hormones my cycle is 21-25days. I haven’t had any spotting or bleeding but I did have a light brownish mucus like discharge about a week or 2 ago. In the last day or so I’ve had mild cramping, which I never get with my periods and bloating after I eat. Normally my regular pms symptoms are nausea, constant bloating for about a week and headaches which all I get the week before my period. I havent had those usual symptoms. I took a pregnancy test 2 days ago and it was negative and I have been going to bed earlier than usual. During my first pregnancy (7yrs ago) I had no symptoms at all except for me missing my period. How much longer should I wait before I test again and could it be that my period is late from me not putting my ring back in?

  41. I messed up the dates and took the nuvaring out a week early. i then just started a new cycle, so i put a new ring in the following week. in the middle, i started my period like i normally would. now it’s about two weeks later and i’m bleeding again. should i just take the ring out and start fresh next week? and is it normal to bleed again since i messed up the proper cycle?

  42. Ive been using nuvaring for about two months now, an hav had regular periods until now. I was supposed to start on sunday an its now friday my cycle ends on this comin sunday. im alil worried so i took two at home pregnancy tasts both came back negative. if my period doesnt start what should i do?

  43. I just started the NuvaRing and don’t like the feeling during intercourse, but hate the idea of taking it out/putting it in at my guy’s place. Call me crazy, but I just don’t like that. If I knew I would be taking it out, let’s say, tomorrow night, could I take a birth control pill (I still have my white Ortho Tri-Cyclen pills and a pack of Loestrin) tomorrow morning and still be protected?

  44. I forgot to takr the ring out.It was supposed to come out on 10/7 I took it out 10/12. I had unprotected sex 10/10. Is it possible that I may be pregnant?

  45. HI there,

    I was using the Nuva Ring for 3 weeks on back to back with starting a new ring every three weeks, so now I have NOT gotten a period since taking the ring out FOUR weeks ago, normally after removing a nuva ring a period is supposed to arrive in 5-10 days, is this correct and is in normal to have a period in 5-10 on an on going back to back 3 week cycle of the Nuva? Is it nomal to not have a period for 4 weeks after removal of the nuva ring?

  46. Can you get pregnant while on ure period and still get youre period the next month and than notice spotting while on the nuvarig?

  47. Dear Kate,

    I have been using the Nuvaring for over 3 years and haven’t had a problem with it. I was just married 3 weeks ago, and the week before the wedding, I forgot to put the ring in at the end of my last cycle. My husband and I have been pretty safe but my period is now 6 days late (which is extremely abnormal for me). I have been having cramping, back aches, moodiness for the last week which is exactly what I go through before my period but not for this long. I know if I take a test, there would be a high chance of it being negative since I am only 6 days late. Do you thing there is a chance I could be pregnant? Are the symptons I am feeling the beginning of pregnancy?

  48. This is my first month using nuvaring, and my doctor had told me to put it in sunday, which was the sunday my regular period was supposed to start, but I never started. Does it matter if I start or not? Was I supposed to put it in?

  49. My girlfriend and I got drunk one night had intercourse and she forgot to put it back in and I believe it was out for 6 hours, we woke up and had intercourse again not thinking about it until after words. it’s been four weeks and her nipples are burning and boobs are hurting, I know this sounds like a dumb question but bare with me and just act like I am a 6 year old asking this. Can the NuvaRing cause those kind of side effects or do you think it might be because she is prego?


  51. also…… will this take my sex drive away like the mirana did? im 22 and my husband 32 but has the mind of a fresh 21 year old jack rabbit??? i dont want to go through that again!!!

  52. i was on the mirana and weighed 138 within 1 month being off i lost 10lbs. will i gain that all back by being on the nuvaring???? i have a mind problem with my weight. “always try to be smaller.” what is the whole deal with weight gain on bc?


  54. Hi Dr. Kate,

    I am currently on Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo, however was told by my Dr. that I should switch to the NuvaRing to help my moodiness. I’m currently in my second week of Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo pills for this month and would like to switch to the NuvaRing before the next pack. Is it okay to start using the ring in place of my last week of pills in order to skip my period for this month (I have a wedding)? And if so, will the effectiveness of the birth control be affected? Will a back up method be needed?

    Thanks for your help!

    – Melanie

  55. Dr Kate-

    I inserted a new ring on August 31. I took it out Oct 1 and then had unprotected sex with my boyfriend on Oct 2. Am I protected from pregnancy? Also, when should I insert my new ring?

  56. Hello! I use Nuvaring for 1 year. last month i removed it after 2 weeks, so 1 week early. then i had 1 week out with condom protected sex and then put it in again. the question is, is it ok that i removed it at the end of the 2 week(i just forgot, i thought it was 3 week) or i should see the doctor?

  57. i just started the ring.. on day 6 i had sex, condom broke and “it” all went inside me of course. could i be pregnant and could the ring harm my baby if i am?

  58. Dr. Kate,
    Ive been on the ring since May 09. I had my period 9/8/09 and put my ring in on 9/13/09. the ring fell out one night (about a week later after inserting it)and wasnt put back in until the next morning. THEN the next night it fell out after sex again and this time was out longer than 24 hours. Needless to say this obviously happened at a bad time (right around when i was ovulating). Is there is a good chance i might be pregnant? i have heard that the ring is pretty effective and that some women actually take a few months to get pregnant after using the ring. Thanks!

  59. I just got on nuvaring I haven’t been on any bc in two years. I started spotting on Sept 15, I put the ring in on Sept 17. I have been on my period for two weeks now. It has been heavy to med flow the whole time. I was put on bc cause of a 4cm cyst on my left ovary. Why am I still bleeding and what should I do?

  60. Hello Dr. Kate,

    I have been using the nuvaring now for 6 days. I inserted it on day 5 of my period. So far I’m very unsure about it….I am really moody and have NO libido. I called my doctor and he said give it 3 months!!! Does it reallly take this long for your body to adjust to the hormones or is it just no agreeing with me? Will it really take 3 months?????????????

  61. i put in nuvaring for one day and took it out the next day and then 3 or 4 days later i stared spotting snot like discharge but it was bloodly!

    what does this mean someone plz help me!!

  62. So my doctor wrote me a perscription for the NuvaRing because i have trouble regulating my period, and i have a hard time remembering the pill. She also perscibed me a progesterone to get my period to start. After 10 days of taking it i have finaly gotten my period, and now realize that she never really explained anything about using the NuvaRing and will not return my calls….

  63. Dr. Kate:

    I went on NuvaRing the first day of my period and two days later my boyfriend and I had sex. My moodswings were pretty bad so I took it out the following evening, but put a new ring in 36 hours later. We had sex again (he used a condom since that would have been day 6 of my period for a first day to insert and the website said to use other protection), but I took it out again the next day because I was sick of the moodswings. I’ve been spotting now for 5 days…is this normal if you go off of hormonal birth control? It’s been day 6 of spotting (and now 13 days after starting my period) and usually my period only lasts for 4 days.

  64. I have been on the nuvaring for about six months now. My husband and I had sex last night and I did not feel my ring fall out. The next day I found my ring under my bed when I was vaacuming. I washes the ring and put it back in. I put if back in aproximarely 12 hours after I had sex. Does that mean I’m pregnant?

  65. I inserted the nuvaring 5 days ago, I had no previous b/c before starting the nuvaring. I had intercourse last night and did not use a back up method AND it’s been 14 days since my last period. What are the chances that I could get pregnant because of ovulation etc? I am so scared.

  66. I used yaz for almost a year, and just recently switched to the nuvaring. I have had the nuva ring in for more than a month, but I still have not had my period. Why am I not getting my period?? I know Im not pregnant, the pregnancy scare is out of the picture.

  67. Hi
    i been on the nuvaring for 8 months now since 2-3 months ago i been feeling pregnant all the time…nausea..tired all the time my breast are sore anyways i got the whole package and i know the feeling of being pregnant because i got 3 little kids at home but i had normal periods and took pregnancy test that came back negetif and also took a blood test i was just wondering if its the ring that could be causing me to feel like this

  68. Yeast infections are not considered to be sexually transmitted infections (STI) because a celibate woman can develop them, but having unprotected sex can pass them along. A man who has unprotected sex with a woman who has an active yeast infection can get a penile yeast infection. Transmission of genital yeast infections from woman to man is uncommon, but it does happen.

  69. Hi,

    I’ve been on the Nuvaring for the past few years. However, this past week was crazy and I put the ring in approximately 29 hours later than I normally do (period started on the 9th). My boyfriend and I were fooling around and he was inside me for a few minutes (unprotected) last night but he didn’t even come close to finishing inside of me. To complicate things more, my doctor put me on Lupron this past Wednesday. Should I be worried about being pregnant?

  70. I have been on Nuvaring for 3 months. First, I took the ring out Sep. 4th which is when I’m supposed to. But, I didn’t put it back in until 6 days after i was supposed to-Sep 17th. I don’t have a good reason for this. Then yesterday I took the ring out to have sex and totally forgot to put it back in. I realized it before the 3 hours was up but when I went to look where I put it I couldn’t find it! I was in a hurry to go somewhere and when I got back it had been 8 hours since I took it out. I finally found it and put it back in but the sex was unprotected and then we had unprotected sex again that night…I’m afraid I may have really messed up. Could I have gotten pregnant from doing that?

  71. …forgot to add….today (Sunday night for me) marks my 21st day….What’s weird is that it usually takes my period a few days to come after my removal of the ring, but this time I’ve already started bleeding and i haven’t removed it yet.

  72. My question is in regard to the actual taking out of the ring.
    I’m a bit confused..maybe I’m just overthinking it..but, do you leave the ring in for 21 FULL days(taking it out on the 22nd day) or do you take it out on the 21st day(meaning you actually leave it in for 20 days???)…OR do you take it out on the 21st day about the same time of day you first inserted it? *confuzzled*

  73. I have been on the nuvaring for about three years. I took it out because me and my husband want to start trying to have a baby. How long before I should be able to get pregnant?

  74. This is my first month using Nuva Ring; before Nuva ring I had been off BC for 3 months. Last Sunday I started my period and inserted Nuva ring that day; by Monday night I was not bleeding at all. Although I continued to have period like symptoms almost all week. I normally bleed for 4-6days so such a short light period is unusual for me. Is it caused by the start of Nuva Ring?

  75. i used to take nuvaring but i missed a month and i never came on so i thought maybe its because im not still using nuva ring so i put in my nuva ring on august 26 and i kept it in for 3 weeks and just recently took it out on september 16. I was told that you come on 3 days after you take the ring out, but my third day was yesterday and i still havent came on. Is it possible that im pregnant?

  76. Dr. Kate,
    I used the Nuva Ring for the first time approximately 3 weeks ago before I saw blood. So I took it out and started bleeding very heavily. My period is usually really light and doesn’t last for more than 3 days. But I am bleeding so much I left stains everywhere I went. I soaked through a maxi pad in half an hour to an hour. Everyone said this is normal for Nuva ring, but I am still worried. Is there anyway to stop this bleeding? Should I still continue using the ring after 1 week of taking it out?

  77. I’ve had some trouble finding a clear answer to this on the web. Do antibiotics affect the ring’s effectiveness? What about other types of medications?

  78. Well… I guess itd be a week or two wks since I’m two wks into when I should have inserted and you remove after 3. Leave it to me to somehow manage to mess up the easiest birth control method other than the shot… Can you see why I opted not to take the pill? Me remembering to take them at the same time everyday was about as frequent as I’ve been struck by lightening… Which hasn’t happened. (Yet) lol. Thanks!

  79. I have been on nuvaring for the last 4 yrs. I didn’t realize my prescription was done so I wasn’t able to get one this month. It will be 2 wks on sunday sine I shouldve inserted the new ring. I originally thought itd be best to wait and start it again next month but after reading your responses to other questions, I’m questioning if I’d be better off waiting or starting now. If I should insert monday(since I can’t get another prescription on a Sunday), will I need to remove it 4 wks later or will I need to do it in a week? Last, but not least, will it affect me having a reg cycle?

  80. Rebecca, those don’t sound like symptoms that are usually associated with the ring – I’d visit your primary doc for a check-up. You can use the rings back-to-back indefinitely. Some women will eventually have break-through bleeding with this pattern, but the rings are still effective.

    Liv, yay! I’m so glad the ring worked for you, until you didn’t need it anymore. Congratulations!

    Lynn, the antibiotics didn’t affect the ring’s efficacy. So if the ring was in for the full 3 weeks, I doubt you’re pregnant. Some women don’t start bleeding for a few days when the ring comes out – it may even take all week to start, and that’s okay.

  81. Shirley, there IS a chance that you ovulated in the two days before the ring went in. Take a pregnancy test, and if it’s negative, keep the ring in for 3 or 4 weeks (whichever you prefer).

    Cher, I still think you shouldn’t take the new ring out yet, not until at least 3 weeks has passed. How well this ring protects you is not affected by whether or not you’ve been skipping the ring-free weeks before.

    Claudia, while it’s possible that your period is late, you really haven’t been protected from pregnancy much – the ring does you no good in a cycle if you remove it early and don’t put another one in right away. So take a PT to be sure, and consider another method of birth control if you don’t like how the ring is used.

    Rose, some women start bleeding right away, and some don’t start for days. If you see bleeding of any sort, I wouldn’t worry – so many patterns are considered normal.

  82. Hey I started the nuvaring 3weeks ago and started antibiotics for bv during the second week and during this second week me and my partner had unprotected sex without knowing I could get pregnant.. On the third week I took the nuva ring out but it’s the second day and still no period. What are my chances of being pregnant?

  83. Thanks for your advice in July regarding conception during first cycle after stopping Nuvaring. After years of trying to conceive my first child, I am happily pregnant, only 5 weeks after stopping Nuvring!

  84. oh, I also forgot to ask… I do not want my period and was hoping to keep the nuvaring in for four weeks and change it with a new one immediately… is this safe? how long can I continue this pattern?

  85. Hi Dr. Kate!

    I started using the nuvaring on August 29, I was sick when I started using it (cough, mucus, runny nose). I am still sick, it has been three weeks now.. but my symptoms have changed and I have muscle aches in my hips mostly, I am tired all the time, my appetite has diminished and I feel pressure on the back of my eyes. I also feel cramping in my abdomen and vagina sometimes. It has crossed my mind that some of these symptoms could be caused from the nuvaring? I have considered taking it out with the hopes of feeling better, but I am not convinced that my most recent symptoms are indeed caused from the ring. Has the nuvaring been known to cause any symptoms that I am experiencing?
    thanks for your time 🙂

  86. Hi Dr. Kate,

    I started using the ring three weeks ago and took it out today. When I took it out there was some brown discharge on it, and I had a little more about an hour later-it looked like the dry blood I sometimes get on the last day of my period. A few hours later I had a little red blood spotting too, is this my period? It is not continuous and I just took the ring out, and if it is not my period, is it normal?


  87. Hello Dr. Kate

    I started using the nuva ring 7/26 the first day of my period and removed it 8/9 and started my period on the 8/11 and ended sunday 8/16. I had unprotected sex with my partner 8/18. The following day I took the plan b pill and inserted the nuva ring day #10. (I have had unprotected sex while on the ring) I removed the ring 9/9 and still no period. I took a pregnancy test on thursday 9/10 (just because) and the results were negative. I have read several comments on other sites with women saying that it took 4-5 days for their period to come. Is this common?

  88. I don’t know if I made myself very clear. I have been on the ring for 12 weeks strait. The the last ring I put in was two weeks ago. Is it okay to take out the one ring after two weeks?

  89. Hi Dr. Kate,

    I took my nuvaring out last month after 3 weeks, I had a period, but did not put my new ring in during the first seven days, I put it back in on day #9. This cycle I did not take it out until almost 4 weeks, but just put a new one in right away. All the other months I have used the ring, I always started spotting a few days before the ring was suppose to come out. But, that didn’t happen this month, now I am wondering if i could be pregnant or if my body has just gotten used to the nuva ring that’s why I didn’t have any spotting just before taking it out. What should I do continue with this ring for three week and take it out to see if I have a period, or take a pregnancy test??

  90. Patti, you probably ovulated the day you had unprotected sex! So unfortunately, there’s a decent chance that you could have become pregnant. If you had a true period Aug 13, it’s too soon for you to have had another period Aug 30. If you don’t get your period this weekend, I would take a pregnancy test. If you’re not pregnant, you should get a period soon.

    Kim, since we don’t know when the ring fell out, we don’t know if you had unprotected sex. You should have gotten a period by now – it’s been a month, right? So take a pregnancy test now – it’s the only way to know for sure. If it’s negative, start the next ring AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, and use condoms for a week…this way you’ll regain your protection as quickly as possible.

    Cher, don’t take the ring out after only two weeks, or you won’t be protected this cycle. Leave it in for an additional week (so three total), then take it out to have a withdrawal bleed.

  91. Dr. Kate,

    I last started my ring on June 11 and 4 or 5 weeks and inserted another for four weeks, then put another one in for two weeks. So I have had the ring in for 12 and 1/2 weeks. Will I have a normal period? Can I take it out and have a regular period after two weeks?

  92. About a month ago, I put in a new ring on Thursday night, as usual. Normally, my period is still occurring when I put in my ring, but will stop 2-3 days afterwards. I normally use tampons during this time, but never had a problem with the ring falling out when taking out my tampon. However, 6 days later, I was still bleeding (although it was light, and I hadn’t used a tampon since the Saturday before). Thinking it was just a fluke, I didn’t think much of it until I was talking with my mom and she asked if I had the ring in. During this period, I did have unprotected sex with my husband on Sunday. I asked him if he felt it during sex, and he replied “no” (and he does feel it most of the time). So I decided to check, and the ring was not there. Talking with my doctor, I decided to wait until my next cycle to insert a new ring (besides, insurance wouldn’t cover it again so soon, so I would have to pay full price).

    Well, now my period is 4 days late. During these four days, I have the feeling that I have started my period (with discharge I can feel draining), but I go to the bathroom, and there is nothing. Not even a drop of blood. I also have some “typical” signs of pregnancy, but which can also be signs that I’m about to start my period. Since I have been either on the pill or nuvaring for 6 years, I have not had a “real” period in that time, so I’m confused whether or not I’m feeling PMS symptoms or pregnancy symptoms.

    So the ultimate question is, what are the chances that I am pregnant?

  93. I have been on the nuvaring for about a year.

    I took the ring out on Aug 11 (beginning of my week 4) and got my period Aug 13.

    I did not have my rx so I did not put a nuvaring back in.

    I had unprotected sex on Aug 27. I had what seemed to be a light period on Aug 30. It was not heavy enough to wear a panty liner but I would say heavier than simply spotting.

    Could this have been a period on Aug 30 and if so am I safe to say I am not pregnant? When shall I be expecting my next period? What are the chances I am pregnant?

  94. Terri, since you started the ring within the first 7 days of your cycle, you should be protected. But if you’re really worried (and no method is 100% perfect, even if you use it just right), take a home pregnancy test to be sure.

    Blanca, you should have put the ring in on Tuesday, even if you’re still bleeding – your ovaries can “turn back on” if the ring is out of your body for a week, and bleeding doesn’t affect this chance. So put the ring in now, and use condoms for a week to be safest.

    Kerry, it’s a great question, and one that’s difficult to research. But knowing how the hormones are absorbed by the body, I think you’re safe to have the ring out every day for 3 hours total. It’s probably safe to have it out for 3 hours each time, but in the absence of data, that would make me nervous, to take it out multiple times for 3 hours. So I think a safe approach would be 3 hours total “out” time each day.

    Mar, since you took the ring out early, it’s very possible that you ovulated after the ring came out, so you ARE at risk of pregnancy. Please take a pregnancy test so you’ll know for sure – and if it’s negative, please start using condoms until you and your gyno can figure out a better birth control method for you. (How about an IUD?)

  95. Hi I had been using nuvaring and decided to stop because it had been causing severe depression for me which most bc do…anyway I took it out a week early had an extremely light period and had sex with the bf at the end of the period which was light and I barely bled anyway Its been almost 3 weeks since then and I have been having so many pregnancy symptoms sore nipples more frequent trips to the bathroom and bouts of extreme hunger and nausia during the day I have cramping and my body just doesn’t feel right could I really be pregnant here or could this be in my head please help me thanks

  96. Dear, Kate

    I am new to the NuvaRing. I started in August 4th 2009 and took it off Sept. 1 I have a week already without the ring. I got my period saturday and Tuesday is my day that I’m suppose to be inserting the ring again. But I’m still on my period can I put the ring while being on my period or wait untill my cycle is over? Thanks for your help

  97. Dr. Kate,

    I forgot to put in my nuva ring one month, but put it in on the 6th day of my cycle. My bf and I had uprotected sex the next week on Thursday(a week and a day after insertion) I took the ring out on time, but my period seems very light, much lighter than usual. It started on time, just light, like no need for even a pantyliner light, but there a bit when going to the bathroom. I seem to have all the symptoms of a period, except it’s very very light. Is this normal, or should I take a pregnancy test. I’m thinking I’m just scaring myself for no reason(I hope).


  98. Sophia, yes, this is likely the start of your period – your body is starting to bleed in response to the lack of hormones. It may be a different type of bleeding than what you’re used to (darker or lighter) – it may take several cycles for the bleeding to normalize.

    Rosie, the hormones are out of your system within days. So if you’re still feeling ill in the next few days, I would see your general doctor.

    Bry, start the ring as soon as you can get it, and use condoms for a week (since you’re starting late this month). After that, use it as usual – 3 weeks in, then one week out.

    Jen, if you always had to avoid sex, no one would use the ring! As long as it’s in your body for at least 3 weeks and no more than 5, before you take it out, you’re safe from pregnancy for the 7 days it’s out.

    Nicholas, your GF isn’t crazy – many women think what she does. But you’re right – when she puts the ring in late (more than 7 days after she removes it), she’s not protected until it’s been in for another 7 days. It’s totally fine to put the ring in when she’s bleeding…I tell patients that the blood acts as lubricant, and it’s even easier to place the ring. But if she’s really uncomfortable doing this, you’ll need to use condoms for the time it’s out, plus the first 7 days of the new ring.

  99. Kara, yes, you’re protected. It’s fine to put the next ring in early – it may or may not shorten your period, but you’ll maintain protection from pregnancy.

    Anne, yes, it’s normal. Some women don’t start bleeding until almost the end of the ring-free week…and occasionally, women don’t bleed at all (scary but not unhealthy).

    Gal, the ring hasn’t been studied with EVERY intravaginal medication, but all the research done to date shows that the medication is absorbed quickly enough to not significantly delay the hormone release from the ring. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to tell how much longer the spotting will last (I wish I had a crystal ball about bleeding). But I’m glad you like the ring – and have a wonderful wedding!

    Lauren, I would definitely put the ring back in as scheduled, to maintain your protection against pregnancy. As I mention above, sometimes the bleeding just starts later than other times, and you may occasionally skip an entire period.

  100. My girlfriend has been on the NuvaRing for about five months. She always takes out the ring 21 days after insertion. However, sometimes her bleeding is a bit delayed and she doesn’t want to put in the new ring until after the bleeding. Sometimes this is more than 7 days after taking out the ring (usually four or five days after bleeding starts). I get very nervous when she does this. Should we wait 7 days again before having unprotected sex?

    Also is putting the ring in before the end of bleeding somehow unsafe like my crazy gf thinks?

  101. Dr. Kate
    So this is my first month on the nuvarring and i was wondering are you protected that forth week when the ring is out??? Or should ou just avoid sex at all costs??

  102. This is my third month on NuvaRing with no problems what so ever, following the 3 weeks in, 1 week out rule. I took my last ring out on the 23rd, and was supposed to put the new one in on the 30th. However, during moving, we managed to somehow throw this month’s ring away and I won’t be able to pick another ring up until tomorrow, making me two days late on my restart date. When I do start it, do I need to treat it like I’ve started all over again and use backup for the next 7 days, or should I be alright?

  103. Hi Dr. Kate,

    I had been on the Nuva Ring for 2 and a half weeks, and for most of that time I had been very, very sick (horrible nausea, vomiting, anxiety, depression and I somehow developed agoraphobia), so I took it out yesterday. I was told the nausea and vomiting would pass in a few days and they simply weren’t going to. Even now I still feel very ill. How long will the hormones be in my system? I just want to feel back to normal because I have a life I need to live and that I can’t. Also, I have never been on birth control before.

    Thank you!

  104. I have been on nuva ring for 6 weeks today. My doctor said once my period is over insert it. after the first three weeks I realized I was going on a trip and did not want to have my period for that week nuva ring was out so they told me just to insert another one right away. Today is the first time in 6 weeks i have not had nuva ring in and for the past 3 days i have been getting brown discharge and it is more and more. This worries me is this my period?

  105. I have been on nuvaring for about a year now..never had any issues with the ring until about 2 months ago the nuvaring fell out and I had 2 periods that month. July was normal and this month I started brown spotting 2 days before I was due to take the nuvaring out. I continued to spot all this week. I took it out as normal and my period is 3 days late now and I am due to put the nuvaring back in tomorrow. I took 2 pregnancy tests which both came back negative. Am I ok to put the nuvaring back in and if so why did I not have a regular period this month?

  106. Dr. Kate,

    You mentioned using MetroGel together with the NuvaRing. I had bacterial vaginosis and treated it with Zidoval (a gel which also contains metronidazole). Isn’t there a chance this sort of medication interacts with the ring, so that it covers it and prevents, at least partially, the release of hormones?

    Another issue: Because I’m getting married in October, I wanted to make sure I didn’t have my period on the week of the wedding. So I decided to change the day on which the ring is inserted. I did this by shortening the ring-free period twice (two months in a row). Specifically, I changed the day a new ring is inserted from Thursday to Saturday, and on the following month – from Saturday to Monday. Although it’s been almost two months since the last change I made, I’m still having some breakthrough bleeding/spotting. Is this normal? How long is this annoying situation expected to continue?

    On a more optimistic note, I really love the ring (:

  107. This is my first time using the nuvaring and I’ve been on my free week for 3 days now and still haven’t started my period. Is that normal?

  108. This is my first time using the NuvaRing. I can’t remember exactly where I was in my cycle when I started–I think around day 10. After having it in for three weeks, I took it out. It has now been out for four days. I had (otherwise) unprotected sex tonight. Am I protected against pregnancy? What will happen if I insert the next ring tomorrow instead of waiting for two more days, as I had initially planned?

  109. Ashley, you’ll probably still get your period, just a bit later. If you like changing your ring on Sundays, I would put the new ring in on Sunday as usual, to get back to that schedule.

  110. Dr. Kate,
    I’ve been on the ring now for about a year and a half and have always remembered when to take my ring out and put a new one in. Unfortunately, I was supposed to take it out Sunday night but I didn’t remember until Wednesday. I’ve always gotten my period from Thursday – Saturday but because I took it out Wednesday instead of Sunday, I have yet to get it. Will I still get my period, even though it was taken out three days late? Also, should I still put my ring in on Sunday as I normally do?

  111. Confused, if the ring has been in your body for at least 3 weeks (and no more than 5), then yes, you’re protected against pregnancy in the ring-free week at the end. If you don’t want periods, it’s totally fine to use rings back-to-back – it won’t damage anything.

  112. Dr. Kate,
    This is the end of my first month on the ring and i was wondering if it was safe to have sex in the last week aka the week where the ring isnt in. Im only 17 so would it be better if i just didnt have periods and continuously changed the ring or could that cause damage.

  113. Britany, home pregnancy tests are very reliable, and if you took the ring out on time, it’s unlikely that you’re pregnant. The moodiness and tenderness may be from your hormones resuming their normal levels. But if you haven’t gotten your period in another 2 weeks, take another PT just to be sure.

    Annie, you’ve got it down perfectly! You’ll be as protected as you can be, using the ring as you’ve described. You may experience spotting when you skip the ring-free weeks, but it’s not unhealthy, and the ring is still working.

  114. Rachel, because you didn’t put the ring in during your period, it’s possible that you ovulated even before you started the ring. Yes, it takes 7 days to be up and working…but if there’s an egg there already, the ring doesn’t destroy it. The chance that you became pregnant is small but possible.

    Renee, that’s a great question. It’s perfectly safe to start and stop the ring, with several caveats: One, start it with your period during the month he’s coming back, so it will be active (and you’ll be protected) when he’s there. Two, you may experience spotting when using the ring – it’s a common side effect during the first month of birth control, and since you’ll stop the ring for months at a time, you’ll experience lots of “first months.” It’s not unhealthy, and the ring will still work.

  115. Dr. Kate, you are awesome!
    i will be starting nuvaring for the first time this sunday and would really like to skip a few periods. Is it okay if i leave the ring in for 4 weeks, remove it, and immediately insert a new ring for another 4 weeks without having a ring-free week in between? Will i still be protected against pregnancy even if i take the ring out for less than 3 hours everytime i have sex?

  116. Dr. Kate,
    I stopped using the ring 3 weeks ago and am now 2 weeks late for what should have been my period week. I have not had sex since I took the ring out but I am experiencing moodiness and sore breasts/nipples and other signs of early pregnancy. Is this common for someone who has just stopped using the ring. I took a HPT and it came out neg. Is this reliable? Thank you for all your great work!

  117. Dr. Kate,
    I have used the ring for one month and am debating whether is should use it continuously or use it from time to time, meaning once every couple of months? (my husband is absent for several months at a time.)
    Perhaps, I am asking if it is “OK” to use the ring from time to time as a punctural birth control? or is it better to not start and stop the body’s natural cycle? What are your thoughts? many thanks

  118. Dr. Kate,
    I thought that I would be protected as long as I had the ring in for at least 7 days before I had sex, even if I started mid cycle. Is this not right? I had the ring in for 11 days before having sex. Could I still have gotten pregnant?

  119. Wow what a great article and great responses! My boyfriend is moving in with me and I really appreciate all this info. I will be starting the ring as soon as I get it (mail order). Hopefully it will be in time for the start of my cycle, otherwise we’ll double up for the first seven days on the ring. Thanks Dr. Kate!

  120. Brooke, since you took the ring out a week early, you ARE at risk of pregnancy this cycle. Any time the ring isn’t in your body for at least 3 weeks (no matter what your bleeding is doing), you’re at risk. So if you don’t get a genuine period in the next 4 weeks, take a pregnancy test.

    Annie, as far as we know, all lubricants are okay with the ring. They haven’t done large-scale studies of different kind of lube among ring users (though that would be a fun study to be in), but lab testing has shown that lube – used in the usual fashion – doesn’t decrease the effectiveness of the ring.

  121. Rachel, because you started the ring late (not within 7 days of the first day of your period), you may have ovulated and become pregnant this month. Take a pregnancy test to be sure. It’s unclear when you’ll get your next period – some women get their period exactly when they expect after they stop hormonal birth control, but it’s not uncommon for your period to come early.

    Clare, you haven’t been protected against pregnancy for several weeks now. And the withdrawal method of birth control is only about 60% effective overall. So yes, there’s a chance that you got pregnant this month…if your period is late or very light, take a pregnancy test.

  122. Ruth, some women do skip their periods on the ring – but to be sure, I’d take another pregnancy test. If it’s negative, I think you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t bleed when using the ring.

    Brittamy, I’m sorry, but the ring only has enough hormones in it for 5 weeks. So while you’re protected for an additional 2 weeks this cycle, it’s then going to run out. So USE CONDOMS until you get your period, then talk with your gyno about possibly getting some samples.

    Brie, if you start the next ring on time (meaning you’re ring free for no longer than 7 days), you’re good to go right away.

  123. Can you use NuvaRing with silicone-based lubricants??…such as Pink lubricant with additives such as aloe-vera & vitamin E

  124. Dr.Kate,
    I have been using nuvaring for 6 months (3 weeks in, 1 week out) and I have loved it. I decided to skip my period in July so I left the ring in for 4 weeks and inserted a new ring right away, after I started the new ring I started spotting everyday for 14 days so I took the new ring out a week early, I started withdrawal bleeding. I spotted/bled for almost 20 days. My boyfriend and I had unprotected sex (August 10) the day before I started my current ring. We always have unprotected sex even before or after my withdrawal bleeding during my ring free week and have never had a pregnancy scare. It is possible I was not protected this passed ring free week because I took it out a week early and skipped my period the month before? Thanks!

  125. Hi Dr Kate

    I have been using Nuvaring for about a year now and I’m usually really good at remembering when to take it out and when to put it in. But I took the ring out about 3 weeks ago (it had been in just over 3 weeks forgot to take it out) and I forgot to put it back in. my partner and I have been having unprotected sex since I took the ring out, though when i finished my period he did start pulling out, that was until last night, he completely forgot that i was unprotected and started to come inside me before he remembered and pulled out, he’s pretty sure he didn’t get out in time. Hoe likely is it that i could now fall pregnant PS I usually ovulate on the 14th day of my cycle, I know this because I get cysts if i’m not using hormone based cotraception, the pains associated with the cyst started on Sunday it’s now thursday.

  126. Dr. Kate,

    Here is my timeline:
    -Started period July 9th
    -Put Nuvaring in July 24th
    -Started period Aug 4th
    -Visited boyfriend and had sex Aug 4-11th, did not wear condom but he never ejaculated inside me
    -Removed Nuvaring Aug 14th
    -Experienced brown spotting and breast soreness Aug 15th

    The spotting and soreness are getting better but I am scared the spotting is from implantation and am scared I could be pregnant. My breasts have never gotten sore before and I have never had spotting like this. Am I overreacting? I am not going to go back on the Nuvaring or any other birth control. When should I expect my next period?

  127. i have just started nuvaring and am new to it all im on my second month in using it…my question is when i start the second ring do i have to wait another week for it to be safe and effective??

  128. oh just to add I removed the ring 8/4 (3week date) and I put the same one back in yesterday (after 1 week break but no cycle) and was hoping it would be effective for the next 3 weeks is this possible??

  129. Dr. Kate I put my Nuvaring in on 7/14 my last cycle was 7/9. I could not afford a new ring so I used the same one from 7/14 is this safe and still affective? I have not gotten a cycle which makes me about 1 week late. How long are the hormones effective in the ring?


  131. I left a big long question for you Dr. Kate, but the problem is that I can not find it. I don’t remember the question because it was more than one and like 2 paragraphs. I know I sent it. please let me know whether you do or don’t find a different message/comment from me
    (maria). THANKS!!

  132. Brittany, it sounds like you’re protected – if the ring was only out of your body for a week, then the new one went in, you should be safe from pregnancy this cycle.

    Laken, yes, some women are lucky enough to not have periods on the ring. It’s scary, without the reassurance that you’re not pregnant, but it’s not dangerous. Enjoy the bleeding-free time!

    Sophia, the ring is supposed to stay in your body on a consistent schedule, regardless of when/if you have sex – you don’t take it out in relation to sex. It needs to stay in your body for at least three weeks, and be out of your body no longer than one week. (Of course, if you want to take it out FOR sex, that’s fine, as long as it’s out no more than 3 hours.)

    unanswered, as long as you use the ring on a consistent schedule – at least 3 weeks in (and no more than 5 weeks), and out for no more than one week – you’re protected from pregnancy, even if he ejaculates inside you. The ring still keeps your ovaries asleep, even on the ring-free week, if you use it in this way. So ring in or out, he can come inside you.

  133. kate, if the ring goes in late, there’s a small chance that you ovulated this cycle. Put the ring in, use condoms for a week, and take a pregnancy test at the end of the month if you don’t get your period when you expect. (This is the biggest reason I think birth control should be available over the counter – so you could stock up and never run out.)

    Dawn, if the old ring was in for three weeks and 10 hours before the new one went in, you’re protected – since there’s enough hormone in the ring for 5 weeks, so it was still protecting you against pregnancy. But you had quite a bit of hormones in your system this month, between the new “full dose” ring and the old “still has a bit of juice left” one. I always recommend a PT to be sure, but I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

  134. Dr.kate

    also just to confirm – he can come in me during the 3 weeks that the ring is on, right? how about during the week i have it off? can he come in me then?

    this question was unanswered and i was also wondering the same thing

  135. hi, i had sex with my boyfriend and then took the ring out about 15 hours later. i have never had a problem with it, but i have also always waited longer than this to take the ring out. is 15 hours too soon? i’ve always been a little unclear about this

  136. Dr. Kate,

    I have been on the Nuva Ring for about a year now and have had maybe 1 or 2 very, very short periods. is this normal?

  137. I have had the nuvaring for a month, I started it the first day of my cycle and took it out 3 weeks later. After a week I put the new ring in. I had unprotected sex about 3 days after putting the new ring in, am I safe from being pregnant?

  138. Oh, I forgot to add, in July I started bleeding about a week before I was supposed to, it stopped a little, then started up again. This is when I forgot to remove the old ring.

  139. I’ve been on the NuvaRing for about a year without any major issues. Usually my period would start a few days BEFORE I was due to take the ring out at the end of week 3, esp if I was very stressed. Before I was on the Ring I would get early periods if I was stressed as well. Months that I wasn’t stressed, I usually started the day I was supposed to take out the ring or a few hours after, and it was usually pretty light.

    However, in July I was more stressed and over scheduled than I ever have been. I put the ring in about 10 hours late. Then a week later realized I had never taken out the old ring. I left both in, as I wasn’t sure which was which. I did have sex w/o any other form of BC.

    I took the Ring out, as scheduled, and didn’t notice any real bleeding. There was some spotting, but nothing beyond that. It’s been about 24 hours and the spotting has stopped.

    I’m planning on taking a home pregnancy test in a few days if my period shows up — from what I understand it’s still a little early for a HPT to be accurate. But, of course, I’m panicking a little, as this isn’t so NOT a good time for me to get pregnant. How worried should I be?


  140. dr.kate

    i have been using the nuvaring for almost a year and a half and today was the first day i didnt get the new ring in time, meaning i’m a day late. i had unprotected sex but only for about 2 mins because i got nervous..do you think im protected? and how long should i have protected sex after i put it in tomorrow morning?

    thank you so much..you do a great job 🙂


  141. Leigh, unfortunately, you can’t stop bleeding by putting the new ring in early. You can often prevent it from starting by using rings “back to back”…but once you’ve started to bleed, more hormones won’t stop it. The easiest thing to do is to just leave the ring in (too much in and out makes the bleeding crazier), and next cycle, either put the new ring in right away or leave it out for a full week.

    Stephanie, it sounds like you did everything right, and you should have been protected against pregnancy. Some women do skip their periods on the ring…but since no method of birth control is foolproof, I would take a pregnancy test to be sure.

  142. Jacqueline, pregnancy is ALWAYS a possibility – take a test just to be sure. If it’s negative, it could be side effects from the ring, and they’ll likely resolve by your third month of using it.

    Colleen, you can definitely start the ring now (even not on your period). Use condoms for the first week, then you’re protected…and your period will hopefully be delayed till after the wedding. Congratulations!

    Daisy, if the ring was out longer than a week, you need to use condoms for the first week of the new ring to be sure. As long as you get a period when you expect (at the end of 3 weeks of use, when the ring comes out), I wouldn’t be worried about pregnancy. And yes, you can put a new ring in every 4th of the month (if you use the rings back to back).

  143. Dr. Kate,

    I used to use the Nuva Ring for about three months. Then I went off of it for the month of June. I started the nuva ring the second or third day of my next period. I took it out three weeks later on a Sunday it is now the Saturday after and have not started my period. Should I be worried about being pregnant or is this normal.


  144. Hi Dr. Kate,

    I took out my NuvaRing on a Saturday, started a period, and put a new one in on Tuesday in order to stop the period. Now it’s a week later and my period has only gotten heavier. What is going on? Is my body not responding to the hormone? How do I stop the bleeding?


  145. I was suppose to put the ring in Sunday the 2nd and forgot till Today Tuesday at 8pm. Do I need tobe careful all over again for a few weeks?? and since I started on the 4th can I just put in a new one each 4th of every month now?


  146. Dr. Kate,
    I am getting married in 10 days. I went to the doctor and got a prescription for the Nuva Ring two weeks ago, but I haven’t had my period yet. I’ve been fairly stressed over planning the wedding and so I think I may have just skipped it this month. I am certan that I am not pregnant. I really need to start the birth control though. Is it possible for me to start the ring now? My last period started on the 17th of June. I haven’t had one since then. Can I start the ring without having a period? How long do I need to use the ring before I know it is working?

    Thanks for your help.

  147. Dr. Kate,

    I am currently 21 and used the ring first when I was about 18. I stopped taking it the same year, and just recently started taking it again. It seemed like i was getting my period like normal, but I continued to bleed for about 5 weeks. it would be really light during the day and get heavy after having sex. once the bleeding started we would atop having sex till what it seemed like “I was finished with my period” and then once trying again, I would bleed. She suggested that since I was under a lot of stress at the time, that was the reason
    for the exceedingly long bleeding. She put me back on the nuvaring and told me to come back in a few months. I went to the doctor on the 22nd of July and my bleeding issue stopped the next day. We waited three days to have sex because I was told that was how long we needed to wait, and have been having sex since then till this past sunday. Since being on the nuvaring I have noticed breast tenserness and small periods where I will feel sick. no vommiting ever accures. I have been on medication for a urinary tract infection since this past Sunday morning… Could these side effects be from the usage of the ring in general? The mixing of medications? Or should I be worried about pregnancy?

    Please help.

  148. If my boyfriend goes in deep during sex and pushes the ring hard against the cervix, vagina and uterus can it cause damage or bleeding to these areas?

  149. April, yes, your guy can totally come inside you…use condoms to protect yourself from infection, but the ring will provide you excellent protection against pregnancy.

    Sarah, it could be that your uterus has decided that it needs a period…it’s not uncommon for women who use a pill/ring continuously to start bleeding after a few months. You can either take out the ring (after 3 weeks) and have a “real” bleed, or just keep using the ring as you’ve been using it. The spotting will eventually stop (though I can’t predict for sure when).

  150. Curious, you might skip your period – it’s tough to predict…

    Hana, it’s probably not “withdrawal” bleeding from the ring being out – are you near your period? If so, some blood may have been “shaken loose.” But otherwise, I’d consider visiting your gyno for a check-up if you’re due, just to make sure everything looks okay.

    Lee, the bleeding can be quite unpredictable when you stop any hormonal method in the middle of a pack/cycle. If you had your last ring in for at least 3 weeks, it’s unlikely that you’re pregnant. But if you don’t have a true period within 4 weeks of taking the ring out, take a pregnancy test just to be sure.

  151. I have been on Nuvaring for about four months now. I will usually leave it in for 3/4 weeks and then immediately replace it with a new ring. I have had no problems so far, but starting about five days ago I began bleeding (or spotting I guess you could say), and it still hasn’t stopped. Could I be pregnant or is this normal?

  152. Hey,

    I have been off the ring for about 2 weeks now.. i discontinued use due to severe side effects. Anyway, i was spotting for about a week before i decided to stop using the ring.. When i took the ring out i almost immediatly stopped spotting.. I have yet to get my period or any kind of spotting since.. Is this normal??.. should i be worried??.. can i be pregnant??– Thanks in advance

  153. I have been on the ring for a couple of years now and not had any problems with it. Last night, however, I removed the ring during intercourse (for no more than an hour), and this morning I experienced a small amount of vaginal bleeding. Is this cause for concern? Could it be due to the removal of the hormones during that one hour period?

  154. Dr Kate, thank you for your response. I took the ring out yesterday after 17 days in. If I put a new one ring in today will I skip my period?

  155. Angel, being on birth control (the ring, the pill, the IUD) doesn’t change the nature of your periods – it just disguises any irregularity (or heaviness, or awful cramps) while you’re on it. Your gyno can evaluate you for thyroid or pituitary abnormalities, as well as polycystic ovaries. If the testing is all normal, this may just be what your periods are like without birth control.

    Curious, you may begin to bleed irregularly if you take it out before the 3 weeks are up. So you’ll have to weigh the discomfort of the side effects with the possibility of bleeding on your wedding day if you discontinue.

  156. Hi,

    I started Nuvaring on July 12th. I would like to take it out because I don’t like the side effects. If I take it out early, will I get my period early? I am getting married on August 8th and really don’t want my period.

  157. Dear Dr. Kate,
    Due to extreme pain during my periods, my doctor has had me continuously cycling on the nuvaring since the beginning of 2005. He had me inserting a new ring every three weeks, which stopped my menstrual bleeding altogether. All of my reproductive organs are normal and there is no sign of endometriosis.
    I have had problems with extreme vaginal dryness, as well as decreased sex drive while on the ring. I moved to a foreign country to study abroad in April of this year and decided to stop birth control altogether and allow my body to return to its normal hormone cycle. I stopped taking birth control in January. By march I was experiencing dull brown spotting for several days but not an actual period. in June I began bleeding, first dark brown spotting, and then bright red blood lasting for 3 weeks. The bleeding finally stopped and I went two weeks without bleeding, and began bleeding again in July. Right now I am at the end of the third week of bleeding, and I am getting small amounts the dark brown blood that used to signal the end of my period, but orgasm with masturbation will bring on bright red blood. I am not experiencing any irregular discomfort, only a little cramping and breast tenderness. I am not bleeding abnormally heavy for me (I have always bled heavily on my periods). Due to the lifestyle change of moving to a different country, I have also lost a large amount of weight since April, 13kg.
    Recently I have become a little concerned about the prolonged bleeding. I am taking iron supplements and a b-vitamin complex. Is this sort of bleeding normal after stopping the nuvaring? If so, how long might I expect it to take until my periods come normally again?

  158. Liv, it’s not true. No research study has ever indicated a problem with a rapid pregnancy after birth control discontinuation. And I know many patients (and fellow physicians) who have gotten pregnant the first month off the pill/ring without a problem. So go for it!

  159. Been on the nuvaring a little over 6 months, and now we are ready to try to conceive a second baby. I have been told that the risk of miscarriage is increased if pregnancy occurs during the first hormone free cycle after removing the NuvaRing or after stopping the pill. Is this acccurate and if so, how many ring-free cyles do I need to have before trying to conceive?

  160. unknown, there’s no chat like this that I know of for the pill or the patch. But the interest in this post is making me write similar columns for both the patch and the pill in the next few weeks – so stay tuned!

    melissa, when did your period start? If you put the ring in within 5 days of the period beginning, you’re safe this cycle. If not, yes, unfortunately you’re at risk of pregnancy. Take plan B to decrease the chance, and keep the ring in for the rest of the cycle. If you don’t bleed like a period within the next 4 weeks, take a pregnancy test.

  161. Jackie, it’s not uncommon to see breakthrough bleeding on the first month of a new hormonal method. The sex may have “shaken” the blood loose, as opposed to causing bleeding from your cervix. If the bleeding continues after the first cycle, and only with sex, have your gyno check you for STDs to be safe. Leave the ring in at least 3 weeks (but not more than 5), then remove it for up to 7 days.

    Unknown, if the ring was in for 3 full weeks, then you ARE protected this cycle. Some women don’t bleed for a few days after the ring comes out. But if you never get a period this month, it’s possible that you got pregnant BEFORE the ring went in…so take a pregnancy test.

  162. Melissa, when it comes to taking the ring in and out, it’s not the bleeding, but the calendar that matters. The ring needs to be in your body at least 3 weeks (but not more than 5), and out for no more than 7 days. As long as you follow these “rules,” you can put the ring in and out whenever you want.

    Katie, I really doubt that the ring is causing your jaw pain. As long as you’re not a smoker, the ring doesn’t increase your risk of a heart attack. As for blood clots, yes, the ring increases your chance of a clot, but it’s a small chance…and pregnancy would give you a bigger chance. But you need to use a method that makes you feel comfortable – you may want to consider the Mirena IUD (no estrogen, so no increased risk of clots).

  163. Dr. Kate, My doctor just put me on the ring, and she told me to put it in the sunday after my next period ended. So my period ended on a thursday and i put the ring in the following sunday(which was 7/19). Now i am reading about how i should have put it in the first day of my period. I had un-protected sex last night(7/25) with my boyfriend for the first time since i put the ring in…am i protected from pregnancy?

  164. Dr. Kate,
    I took my ring out after a full three weeks around morning time and later that night I had unprotected sex. Its been three days since I took the ring out and I have not gotten my period. Is it possible to get pregnant if you have sex after you take the ring out but before you get your period?

  165. Dr. Kate,
    I recently switched to NuvaRing from Yaz because Yaz always made me very nauseous. I finished my last pack of Yaz and immediately started NR the Sunday of my period. This was exactly 2 weeks ago. Last night my boyfriend and I were having sex and when we were done I realized I was bleeding. It feels like I have my period but it has only been 2 weeks since my last one and I still have the ring in. Should I be worried? When should I insert my next ring? Ps. I checked to see if the ring was there and it was.

  166. Dr. Kate:

    My doctor put me on the NuvaRing last week (1 week exactly), about 1 day after my period ended. I was in her office because I have severe anxiety and depression and thought that it may be due to an imbalance in my hormones. Anyway, since I have had the NuvaRing in, my moods are so much better (at least I think). However, my breasts are huge, I am pigging out, I have headaches..and terrible jaw pain (my left side..top and bottom hurts…maybe like a cavity)…oh..and so tired a lot. I was thinking of taking the NuvaRing out..however, I am not sure what will happen. I am 37 and am afraid of blood clots and heart attack (jaw pain). What will happen if I take out the ring? Will it lessen my chance of the clots, etc? Will my jaw stop hurting? I don’t know if it’s because of the ring or not..which is why I want to take it out…just to see.

  167. Hi, Dr. Kate

    I have been using nuvaring for a few months now, i put it on every 4th day of my period. I just took off my nuvaring on tuesday i wanted to know if its ok if i insert my nuvaring the first day of my period without it affecting me.

  168. Jennifer, you can ovulate as soon as 10 days after a D&C – and you can’t tell by your bleeding when your fertility returns. Since the ring wasn’t in for a full week before you had sex, you are at risk of pregnancy this cycle. The effectiveness of withdrawal for birth control is not great, so consider taking plan B TODAY to help reduce the risk of pregnancy. I would leave the ring in now, to try to regulate your cycles as soon as possible. Your bleeding is likely to be irregular for a month or two from the D&C, despite the ring. So get your pregnancy protection from the ring, and try to wait out the irregular bleeding – it should regulate by the end of the second cycle.

  169. Dear Dr. Kate,
    I had a d&c on July 2nd, and i bleed for two weeks until the 15TH when I stopped completely then I started bleeding again on the 17th and I thought that I was having a period but im not sure I was, I inserted my nuvaring thinking I was having a period on saturday Morning (July 18th). My boyfriend and I had sex on both friday and Monday (Unprotected) but he did not ejaculate inside me. What are the chances that im pregnant and should I take out the nuvaring since I really didnt have a period? And how much will the nuvaring throw my period off? T.Y.

  170. Alana, yes, your bleeding may be irregular due to taking out the ring early (after only one week). You may see bleeding on and off for the rest of the month, until your next period comes (which may be hard to identify, if you’re generally irregular).

  171. Hey! I was on nuvaring for about 4 months & was having bad side effects so I took it out after having it in for 1 week this past month. I had my period June 29, put the new ring in July 2 (on schedule) & removed it 1 week later on July 9. I got my period on the 13th (it was a normal cycle, about 4-5 days) & now I feel like I’m getting it again, just a week later. Am I going to continue getting it now that I took it out that early? And also I’ve always had an irregular schedule, which was my reason for nv. Thanks!

  172. Nicole, you’re still at risk of pregnancy this month – it’s hard to tell how great the risk is. You would normally ovulate around the 20th, if your cycles are 28 days, and 4 days of ring use may not have been enough to suppress ovulation. Consider taking plan B – it still is effective up to 5 days after sex – and if you don’t get a period in 3-4 weeks, take a pregnancy test.

    MRA, by taking out the ring early, you’re at risk of ovulating this week. So you won’t be protected against pregnancy again until the new ring has been in your body for a full week. Consider putting the ring in as soon as you can, to get that 7 days complete as soon as possible. (So no, I don’t think sex on Saturday will be safe without a condom!)

    Pepper, as long as the ring was in for 3 full weeks (and not more than 5), and out for no more than 7 days, you’re protected – even right away.

  173. Kristen, thank you for sharing your story – I’m glad you’re doing well. Yes, hormonal contraception (pill, patch, ring) carry a risk of blood clots…but the risk of clots is higher in pregnancy than with any of these methods. So if a woman is at risk of pregnancy, it’s safer for her to be using birth control than to be pregnant (in most cases).

    Gina, as long as the ring isn’t in longer than 5 weeks, you’re safe. The timing of the ring going out and in shouldn’t be linked to bleeding – change it whenever the time is most convenient for you, within those 5 weeks – and back-to-back rings are fine.

  174. Unknown #1 – yes, you could be pregnant. If you don’t get a period this month, take a pregnancy test.

    Unknown #2 – yes, breast tenderness could be a side effect of the ring (though not a usual one). It will likely improve by the end of the third cycle…if you decide to stick with the ring, try ibuprofen or naproxen for comfort.

  175. I have been on the nuva ring for 2 years. I took it out on the correct day and exactly a week later put it in on the correct day, and then had unprotected sex right after inserting the ring. Am I protected?

  176. Hello Dr. Kate,

    I was on my third week on the nuvaring when I began spotting. I was very anxious to take it out in order to have my period, because in the past this stopped the spotting. Still, I had to wait for Saturday (the end of my third week) to take it out. With all the anticipation and such, I seemed to mistake Friday for Saturday and took out my Nuvaring a day earlier. I didn’t realize this until more than 4 hours later. I’m wondering if the Nuvaring will still be effective once I put it back in next Saturday (the end of the fourth week when I was supposed to replace the ring)? Also, perchance, if my period ends before Saturday, do you think it would be safe for me to be intimate with my husband without risk of becoming pregnant.

  177. Dr. Kate,

    The beginning of my cycle was July 6th, and I inserted the Nuva Ring on Monday July 13th. Today, Friday July 17th, my fiance and I did not notice the condom had torn until after he ejaculated, and by then it was too late. I panicked and flushed as much as I could out of myself, knowing all of the while it would be impossible to get all of it out. (Still, it did ease my nerves.) I am, of course, a bit concerned considering it has not been the full seven days. How concerned should I be?

  178. Dr. Kate, I just wanted to verify that it is okay to leave the ring in the full five weeks and then remove it and immediately replace with a new ring? When I originally started the ring I inserted it on the first day of my period as indicated, but now based on the insertion and removal schedule I end up removing it about fours days before my period starts. My periods have shortened and I end up replacing the ring at the end of my cycle. Is this normal and still effective?

  179. Hello,
    I just want to tell you that when I was 23 years old, I had been using NuvaRing for about 1 1/2 years. One day I developed extreme shortness of breath and was rushed to the hospital. It turns out that I had a blood clot lodged in my lung, which was potentially fatal. My doctors ruled out every other cause (I was young, healthy, and a non-smoker with no family history) apart from an act of God, it had to be NuvaRing.
    Now I work in the medical profession and see all of these young girld being rushed in with clots and strokes because of hormonal contraception. I do not believe we know all of the dangers associated with it yet, and it should be closely monitored. I think it is now my purpose to inform every woman I meet about my experience (especially ones who are thinking about the ring). I hope this helps someone down the road.

  180. Dr.Kate, The sides of my breats by my armpits are very sore (like the would be when i’m on my period) and have been sore since i started the ring.. it seems (for about 2 weeks ive had it in) i’m wondering if this has anything to do with the nuvaring?

  181. Dr.Kate. I inserted the nuvaring right after my period but having sex with my boyfriend it fell out and didnt tell me. I had started bleeding but I figured it was because I had just started it back after being off of it for three months and didnt have sex while was off of it. He just told me tonight when I called him to tell him I couldnt find it. We have had sex since it has fallen out and he came in me everytime and it has been two week since it has been out. Could I be pregnant?

  182. Jessica, not at all! The NuvaRing will always stay as effective for you…new side effects won’t appear…and your fertility is definitely not threatened by long-term use.

    Olivia, I think you’re using the ring very wisely. There’s enough hormones in the ring for 5 full weeks of use, so you’re more than covered. And you’re right, changing the ring on the same day every month is easier to remember.

    I haven’t heard of the ring increasing the incidence of UTIs. Have your docs sent your urine for sensitivity testing? Often, a “rebound” UTI (one just a few weeks or a month after the last one) is due to resistance to the antibiotic your doctor chose. Another reason for frequent UTIs is a kidney stone – and as long as the stone is there, the infections may keep coming. Best of luck with everything.

  183. Dr. Kate,

    I’ve been using the Nuvaring for 10 months. I chose to remove and insert a new ring on the 1st of the month (so I either skip or have a very short very light period). I know that isn’t a 28 day cycle, but it’s much easier to remember. I figure there are still hormones being released, and I do have it in for the first 3 critical weeks of each cycle. so I’m covered. Is this ok?

    Also, I wanted to know if you’ve heard of any women getting more frequent UTI’s on Nuvaring. I’ve never had a UTI in my life until this past year, during which I’ve had 6 or more. Some of those were also possibly kidney infections, so it’s not something I take lightly as only a mild discomfort. It’s a pretty big deal when I get them because I can get very sick.

    I’ve been sick in general this year, so I’m wondering if the Nuvaring may have contributed to the UTI’s, or something else in my body that’s been making me get lots of kinds of infections.

  184. I have been on Nuva Ring for about 4 years and have experienced no side effects, and my periods are like clockwork.I have no complaints but I have heard that staying on one particular birth control for too long can make it become ineffective or increases the possibility of side effects/ infertility in the future. Is this true?

  185. Stepheni, some women start bleeding the day they take out the ring, and others start bleeding days into that ring-free week. You’ll likely start bleeding at some point this week, even if it’s light. If you used the ring for 3 straight weeks, and didn’t ever have it out for more than 3 hours, you’re very protected (the ring is about 97% effective when used this way).

  186. i started using nuvaring last month. i put it in the day i got my period i kept it in for 3 weeks and took it out that sunday i got my period for about 3 days i put the ring back in the following sunday and i just took it out again this sunday(yesterday) i still didnt get my period yet… should i be worried that i could be pregnant or what. i just had a baby and i really cant afford another one right now…is this normal

  187. Angela, stay on schedule. Think of it this way – the NuvaRing works by turning off your ovaries. To keep them turned off, the ring needs to be in your body for at least 3 weeks (and no more than 5). And your ovaries don’t know if you’re bleeding or not. So even when the bleeding is irregular, stick to your schedule – it should regulate by next month.

    Heather K, it doesn’t sound like an allergic reaction – those are usually rashes, hives and (worst case) trouble breathing. It is possible (though unlikely) that your symptoms are from the ring. I’d give it time to see if you feel better before removing the ring.

    Ashley, whenever you start a hormonal birth control method, it’s not unusual to see crazy bleeding for the first few months. Spotting, double periods – you name it. Just try to wait it out, and it should resolved by the end of the third ring.

  188. Dr.kate i put the nuvaring in the day before my period ended and ive had it in for a week and i noticed i have my period again? or just some blood im not too sure about? why is that?

  189. I started my period yesterday morning and inserted the nuvaring last night. When I woke up this morning, I felt miserable. I had a migraine, I was sick to my stomach, and a little dizzy. A few hours after waking, I vomited. Now, hours later, I’m feeling a little bit better but still have that sour stomach feeling and a mild headache. Could this have been from the nuvaring? Is it normal or could it be an allergic reaction?


  190. Dr. Kate
    I’ve been on NR for a year now and this is the first time this has happened. My period started 4 days before I’m supposed to take the ring out (this upcoming Mon). If I stay on schedule and put in the new ring the following Mon, it will be 11 days after the start of my period. Should I stick with the schedule or revise it to accommodate the start of my period? Thanks in advance for your help!

  191. Sindy, if you start the ring mid-cycle (not on your period), there’s a small chance that you got pregnant BEFORE the ring went in. But if not, eleven days should have been enough to prevent a pregnancy this cycle. (And if you got pregnant July 2, you shouldn’t be feeling symptoms yet – so try not to worry). Take a pregnancy test at the end of this ring cycle if you don’t bleed, to be sure.

    Emily, you’re right on the line with everything! It sounds like you had sex on about day 11 of your cycle (counting from the first day of your period). With your natural cycles around 24-26 days, that means you had sex right around the time you would ovulate. If you put the ring in within 5-7 days of bleeding, you’re usually protected. I usually recommend condoms for the first 7 days of use, just to be sure, though we think the ring is “up and running” in as little as 5 days. So bottom line? I think your chance of pregnancy is small. But (as I boringly say all the time) take a pregnancy test if you skip your period this month.

  192. Mandy, once the ring’s been in your body for 3 full weeks, you’re safe from pregnancy for that cycle (as long as you put it in during your period)…so sex at that point IS protected, even if you’re not using condoms, and even if you haven’t yet started to bleed.

    Lily, we think so. We don’t think that spotting on the ring (or on the pill) means that the method isn’t working that month. Though we’re not sure why you’re bleeding, if you’ve been using the ring for the full time (and yay for not taking it out early!), you should still be protected.

  193. Dale, there are definitely risks of blood clots whenever you use hormonal birth control. But the risk of a blood clot is much higher if you become pregnant (more than double the risk of birth control), because the hormones in your body are at higher levels. I hope everything turned out okay.

  194. Dr. Kate,
    I had my period on a tuesday and wanted to do the “sunday start” so I stared it that sunday, (day 6)? My boyfriend came into town on friday and we had sex, which would be day five. I am a little worried. What are my chances of pregnancy if my cycle before birth control was usually 24-26 days?

  195. Hi, I started using the nuvaring a week before my period (6/21/09)basically to skip it.. i had unprotected sex on July 2 and now im having pregnancy symptoms, is it possible that i am pregnant? eventhough i was on the nuvaring for 11 days??

  196. Dr. Kate,

    I started spotting almost 5 days before I took my NuvaRing out, and took it out at the 3 week mark. I waited a week and put it in just like the directions said, but since I was spotting much earlier than usual (usually 2 days after I remove the Ring I start my period) am I still protected?


  197. Is it bad to have unprotected sex after the 3 weeks of having the nuva ring and you remove it, but before you have started your period?

  198. Dr Kate, I used the Nuva Ring in 2003-04. I had extreme vaginal dryness and subsquentially stopped using the ring. Shortly after I became pregnant. During my pregnancy I developed a blood clot in my leg. My physcian at the time attributed this to “pregnancy hormones”, but I blamed it on the Nuva Ring. Please alert everyone to the risks involved with using hormonal birth control.

  199. Ashley, it’s actually what doctors call a “withdrawal bleed” – bleeding in response to the sudden lack of hormones from the ring. This is why if you use rings “back to back” (putting a new one in at the same time as taking out the old one), you generally won’t bleed at all.

    Kel, many things can happen when you switch from one method to another. It’s most likely that you won’t bleed till the fourth (ring-free) week, and you’ll skip your period this month. But it’s also possible that you’ll spot sooner, or even have two periods this month. Annoying, but not unhealthy, and the bleeding will likely regulate by the second cycle.

    Alexis, I couldn’t tell what your question was from your comment (which is why I emailed you yesterday). If the ring comes/falls out in the middle of the cycle, there’s a chance of ovulation, and then pregnancy if you have sex while it’s out or in the few days after. If you didn’t have sex when it was out, or for a month after, you likely didn’t get pregnant. When restarting the ring mid-month, you should always use condoms for a week to cover this pregnancy possibility. If you first had sex again after a “full cycle” of ring use (3 weeks in, one out), it’s not likely you got pregnant from sex that time.

  200. Alexis: Dr. Kate checks in when she can and dedicates a *lot* of time to answering follow-up questions here, but there’s no guarantee she can get to all of them. If you need an answer urgently, you should check in with your own doctor, who knows a lot more about your sexual health history than Dr. Kate. Also, Alexis, we’re not doctors, but common sense would indicate that if you had any doubt at all, then you shouldn’t have had unprotected sex. 🙂

  201. Dr. Kate,
    I just switched from the pill to the nuva ring. I usually get my period in the evening on the third day of my placebo pills. I read that when switching from the pill to the nuvaring to put it in on the first day of your cycle. I put the ring in today, even though I hadn’t gotten my period just yet (I put it in this morning as opposed to the evening when I normally get my period). By putting the ring in today before I started menstruating, will I not get my period until the beginning 4th week when I am supposed to take this ring out?

  202. Katie, you can start the ring at any time – period or not. Just restart it when you want to, and you’ll likely see bleeding at the end of the cycle.

    Ashley, most women will still have a period (or some bleeding) when they take the ring out – even if it feels like a “second period” that month. If you don’t bleed at all, you can take a pregnancy test to be sure – but it’s still unlikely that you’d be pregnant.

  203. Chelle, you’re safe. As long as the ring goes in within the first 5 days of your period beginning, you’re safe for that cycle.

    Brandi, there’s a chance–though it’s small–that you became pregnant. If you’re late inserting a new ring, there’s a chance that you’ll ovulate before the ring has a chance to “turn off” your ovaries. So if you don’t get a period at the end of this cycle, take a pregnancy test.

    Tina K, it’s normal to not be aware of the ring when it’s in (that’s one of the nice things about it). Researchers have asked men whose partners are using the ring. Most men don’t feel the ring during intercourse, and of those men who can feel it, most don’t care. (Takes more than that for a fella to not enjoy sex!) He won’t get stuck, or pull it out (penile ring toss?)…though if it’s ever uncomfortable during intercourse, just take it out, for up to 3 hours.

  204. Hi Dr.Kate i started tthe nuvaring for the first time on sunday bvut i still had my period, and i just pretty much stopped my period today (tuesday) when i take the nuvaring out, what happens if i dont get my period that week?

  205. I have been using the NUVA ring for about one year and recently i stopped using it because i stopped having sex. Now i do not have a regular period anymore and i want to start using the nuva ring again. Can i just use the Nuva ring before my period starts? I am not planning on having sex and i just want to have a normal period. I also want to stop breaking out. So my questions is, if i can put the nuva ring in me if ive had my period about 2 weeks ago?


  206. I inserted the ring, am I still supposed to feel it. I don’t feel it in my body but i can feel it if I put my finger inside. My question is if I can feel it with my finger won’t he be able to feel it when we have sex? and is it possible for his penis to get stuck in it move it or pull it out?

  207. Dr. Kate,
    I just started Nuvaring last month and took it out and immediatly got my period. I was suppose to reinsert it on that saturday and forgot. I had sex tuesday (day 11 lmp) and rember the next day to reinsert it. (I was on the patch for over a year before switching to nuvaring). Is there anyway that I cold be pregnant? Would you ovulate late or early if you were 4 days late on reinserting?

  208. I’m sure this has been asked several times above me, but just to be sure: I started my period Friday night, and put the ring in on Sunday morning, when would I be considered safe? Now or should I wait the seven days? This is the first time using birth control and the rings I was given were samples, so, no real instructions.

  209. my nuvaring fell out, so I didn’t have one for a couple days, and then I got a new one and wore it for 3 weeks, then took it out for one. During the 3 weeks in and 1 week out, I had a constant period and didn’t have sex, then at the end of the 4th week, I put a new one in at the same time. I called a gyno (not mine) and she said that I wasn’t protected for this whole month, but the gyno I went to, to get the new nuvaring from said I would be protected this month, so before I called to make sure, I had unprotected sex, but he pulled out before.

  210. Leslie, you’re safe. There’s enough hormone in the ring for 5 weeks of use…so if you’re on that 5th week, you’re still protected. No need for plan B, and you can now take the ring out for a week to have a period if you want (or just put in a new one and skip the bleeding this month).

    Tina, I tell my patients that if you don’t put the ring in within 5 days of starting your period, it’s safest to use condoms for the first week of use. So go ahead and place the ring, and be sure to use condoms. Yay for dual protection!

  211. Toya, if you haven’t had a “real” period (several days of bleeding, not just spotting) since the abortion, I think you should take a pregnancy test. It’s possible that the ring has just drastically reduced your monthly bleeding (if so, yay!), but it’s better to know for sure.

    Megan, the heavy bleeding could be from the ring coming out early. It could also be the IUD itself – is it a Paragard (copper)? They’re known for sometimes causing heavy bleeding. If it’s the IUD, the bleeding will likely lessen with time (over the next few cycles)…but if you’ve got a lot of pain too, see your gyno to make sure the IUD isn’t being expelled.

  212. this is the first time I am using nuvaring and today is the 7th day after the 1st day of my last period. Is it gonna make a difference if i insert the ring today? I plan on using a condom regardless i’m on the ring for extra protection…

  213. Dr. Kate,
    I’ve been happily using nuvaring for 2 years now. 4 weeks in, 1 week out. Today was the day I had to remove the ring (I haven’t yet) for the week break. I had unprotected sex today. Should I take plan b? Because I know sperm can live inside for 3 days. Is it safe to take out the ring?

  214. I have been on the nuvaring for about a year (LOVED IT BTW)… but due to the fact our insurance doesn’t cover contraceptive…. the monthly cost was way to much so I decided to get an IUD put in just this past week on wednesday.. June was the last month of using Nuvaring so i put it in on the Sunday as usual, three Sundays later took it out and had my period. The dr wanted me to put a new ring in on the normal 4th Sunday which was last week (june 28th) because my appt wasn’t until July 1st so they didn’t want me to be w/out birth control. I did this and then wednesday the 1st of July, I took the nuva ring out and had the IUD put in. The dr told me the IUD could cause spotting, and at first it did… but starting on thursday night/friday morning, its definitely more than spotting, could taking the ring out have caused an early period? It is like a really heavy period

  215. I had a abortion in April and put the ring in 2 days after(which was a Sunday). I was spotting in June (a very little bit for 3 days) and still no period and its now July, can i be pregnant. The spotting was 3 or 4 drops every 4 to 5 hours, should i be worried?

  216. Ally, to prevent that worry in the future, when you’re starting the ring for the first time in a while, put it in during the first 5 days of your period, for full protection that cycle.

  217. Alli, 7 days is enough to protect you from ovulating for the rest of this cycle. But there’s always a tiny chance that you ovulated really early (at the end of your bleeding) and could have gotten pregnant before you put the ring in. So if your period is late this month, take a pregnancy test to be sure.

    Emily, most folks (both women and their partners) are comfortable with the ring in during sex. But it’s okay to take it out all the time (how many times a day are you having sex, anyway?) you have intercourse – it will still work as well.

    Meg, stress can be a cause of spotting with the ring – the hormone levels are fairly low, and it wouldn’t be unusual to have some breakthrough bleeding if you’ve had lots of stress lately. You don’t want to take the ring out before at least 3 weeks are up – so if it’s 3 weeks on Sunday, wait till then and remove it. But if it’s been in for more than 3 weeks, you could take it out now.

  218. I’ve been on the Nuvaring since about Nov-Dec ’08.

    About 3 cycles ago, we were on our honeymoon. I started spotting on Friday. Because we were in Jamaica and I had no way of contacting the doctor, I left the ring in for 2 more days, and then took it out on Sunday, like I normally would. I had my period that 4th week and then put a new ring in the following Sunday.

    I went 3 weeks and then took the ring out, had a regular period week, then put in a new ring. This brings us up to the present.

    I woke up this morning and went to the bathroom. After wiping I noticed I had bright pink on the tissue. I’m apparently spotting again (Friday). I tried to call my doctor this morning, but of course they are closed for the July 4th holiday. Do I wait 2 days and take it out Sunday as usual, have a week off, and start again?

    I was under a ton of stress back in May when I had the first early spotting incident. I’ve also been under quite a bit of stress this past month with work. Is spotting a few days early unusual? Could this be due to stress?

    PS-I am very unhappy with Nuvaring thus far. Then again, I’ve been unable to take every other form of birth control that I’ve tried (emotional issues, severe swelling of the calves, abnormal periods). My husband just had a vasectomy on June 1, so luckily in a few months I won’t have to worry about birth control anymore.

  219. I was reading Jaki’s post and was worried about what had happened to her, i havn’t started the ring yet but if the ring is uncomfortable for me or my partner when we have sex is it best to use a different method of birth control? I don’t want to be constantly taking the ring out during sex either, so i wonder if that is a problem

  220. I went on the ring 7 days ago, right after my period. I had sex last night and I’m concerned it wasn’t in long enough to protect me. Do you think I was protected? Cause I’m panicking a little now

  221. Em, you should put the ring in on the first day of your period–you’ll have the quickest protection against pregnancy that way.

    Jaki, you can use lubricant during intercourse with the ring in place (and it may help to use lube to place the ring as well). Sometimes it takes awhile to get used to the sensation of the ring during sex….but it’s okay if you always take it out. You can have the ring out for up to 3 hours and still be protected against pregnancy.

  222. Hello Dr. Kate,

    So I am just starting out on the ring, this is my 9th day or so with it in and I had sex for the first time (while on it) yesterday and I had a few complications.

    1)It went from not feeling it, to my partner not minding it-almost added sensation(and me not enjoying it), to neither of us like it at all, so I removed it.

    2)At first I was nice and wet and it slowly declined all the way til I took the ring out and then I couldn’t get wet at all.

    3)After putting it back in it feels weird, I notice its there and I keep trying to push it up further but it just seems to slowly slide down.

    So now that you know my issues my questions are, can I use a lubercant, I was thinking of the K-Y intenseify. Should I take the ring out if Im using lube (although I’ll be removing it anyways j

  223. Hi Dr.Kate, i havn’t started the nuva ring yet because i was waiting for my period. Should i insert the ring the first day of my period or 5 days later?… or when it stops

  224. Im 46 and using the nuvaring strictly for making my periods better or non existent…my husband has had a vasectomy. Is it really necessary for me to have a period at all? Can I just put a new ring in every 4 weeks and have NO period?

  225. I just started using the Nuvaring, I put it in, and it doesnt feel high enough.. i can feel it with my finger and it is only like an inch in my vagina. I cant feel it otherwise..  but does it have to be a certain amount in the vagina?

  226. Jessica, it’s not uncommon to have irregular bleeding upon stopping hormonal contraception – your body sometimes needs a few weeks (or even months) to normalize the natural ebb and flow of hormones. If the bleeding becomes wicked heavy, call your gyno. Otherwise, have plenty of pantiliners around and ride it out.

  227. Lisa, as long as you put in a new ring before 7 days have gone by, you’re protected…when you put the ring in doesn’t really matter in that time period.

    Cathy, you can put your first ring in at ANY time during your cycle. You use condoms for a week (if it’s not your period) in case you ovulate in the first few days. If you already ovulated but didn’t have sex, you’re fine. And if you ovulated and had sex – and may have an early pregnancy – the ring won’t cause a miscarriage or birth defects.

  228. Hello Kate,

    I just stopped using the ring I thought it was great but my body is way to sensitive to the hormones and even after over year if usage I was still vomitting and feeling ill when inserting and taking out the ring. I took the ring out as normal on the 1st and a week passed in which I got my cycle however I still have bleeding. My cycle should have ended last Monday the 8th. Yet, I am still having bleeding and spotting but only when I urinate and it is the 16th. Should I be concerned?

  229. Can you start the nuvaring for the first time, after the initial 5 days of a period….say 6 or 7 days post first day of period? If so, how does that work, won’t my ovaries already be in there cycle and increase risk of pregnancy?

  230. I wear the ring 4 weeks in and 1 out (my gyno says that’s ok). Sometimes I immediately put a new ring in and skip my period. I forgot to do that this time and I was wondering if I put in a new ring during the “break week” (before my period started) if I would be protected or if I would have to wait seven days.Thanks!

  231. It’s not three months for everyone – have you used hormonal contraception before? If you have, and the prolonged periods didn’t last long on the pill, they likely won’t on the ring either. But yes, 3 months of irregular periods (longer or spotting in-between) isn’t unusual. Tuck a towel under your bum during sex until the discharge clears, and try to think of it as extra lubrication!

  232. I started nuvaring 11 days ago. Since it was my first month using it, I inserted the ring on day 1 of my period as directed. I had a shorter period than usual, and typically when my period is ending it will be a little bit brown. However, after 3-4ish days of period, this brown discharge that usually means “okay, it’s over” has been going on right to day 11 of having the ring in!! This is SO annoying and almost defeats the purpose of birth control since having sex with this brown discharge would be rather messy. I have read on some websites it takes up to 3 months for this to stop, 3 months? seriously? I just don’t know what to do.

  233. Edwine, you should insert it on the first day of your period.

    Thalia, if you start the NuvaRing within 5 days of the start of your period, you’re protected right away. But if you start at any other time in your cycle, you should use condoms for a week for maximum protection.

  234. Fatima, the ring may either be higher up in your vagina than you’re used to feeling for it (it can shift over time)…or it may have fallen out since you placed it. It definitely didn’t dissolve, and it’s definitely not “inside” your body (in a place other than your vagina, that is). Try using a bit of lubricant on your fingers, and reach up as high as you can. If you still can’t feel it, it’s likely fallen out.

  235. Dr. Kate,
    ive been using the nuva ring since feb. 09 and i had to tried to remove the ring today and i couldnt feel it at all. what could have happened to it? can it dessolve? ot go anywhere else??


  236. about washing the ring — wont that wash away the medicine off the ring or something?

    also just to confirm – he can come in me during the 3 weeks that the ring is on, right? how about during the week i have it off? can he come in me then?

    sorry one more – i have not been on birth control for a year. i will be using nuvaring this weekend for the first time. how long do we have to wait before he can start to come in me?

  237. I’ve been using the Nuvaring for 3.5 years and I love it. 3 weeks in, 1 week out. No pill everyday and I can time my period starting down to the hour! Easy to put in and take out and very comfortable. Try it!

  238. I want to add that after I have a yeast infection (I’ve had a few lately from antibiotics) I find that rinsing my ring off after the infection is mostly gone (I use diflucan to make it go away) helps, because the yeast seems to stick to the ring. Helps a lot.

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