Facebook Pixel

NuvaRing--A Match Made in Heaven, at Least at First

By HERWriter
 
Rate This

After being well-educated and frankly terrified by my sex education program in high school, I made it a priority to be in the know about birth control options before becoming sexually active. I was looking for something easy, low-maintenance and with minimal side effects as well as something to fit my lifestyle as a busy college student in a monogamous relationship. As any of you empowered women would do, I did my own research before making an appointment with a medical practitioner.

I started by perusing Planned Parenthood’s information, as suggested by University Health Services. On their website I took a quiz to discover what the best method of birth control might be for me. (I definitely recommend checking it out:

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/all-access/my-method-26542.htm)

This quiz pointed me towards NuvaRing – a relatively new birth control that delivers low levels of hormones directly into the vaginal tract. It has effectiveness ratings equal to, and often better than that of oral contraceptives due to the obstacles of using a pill 100 percent correctly (taken at the same time each day). Allured by the appeal of a method that could be handled on a monthly basis, I made up my mind to ask my nurse practitioner for a prescription, and felt affirmed when the NuvaRing was her first suggestion anyway.

I fell in love. Like a girl hoping to show off her new ring, I snuck the topic of birth control into everyday conversations, hoping to be asked “Well, what option would you recommend?”

I assured my friends that insertion was as straightforward as putting in a tampon. Simply pinch the flexible sides of the ring together (into a figure-8 shape), pop it into your vagina, and let your body naturally settle it against your vaginal wall. In its sturdy spot, the ring did not affect sexual activity, and went undetected for three weeks, when, with a hooking finger motion, the ring was easily removed. Fast, easy, mess-free.

I gloated about lighter periods and the relatively low cost of the ring, which was $14/month. I quoted statistics about the higher success rate and the lower amount of hormones.

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I used nuvaring for close to a year. I stopped because it was causing horrible vaginal dryness, discomfort, even pain during sex. It got worse as each month went by. I kept talking to different doctors, asking what was wrong and could it be the nuvaring? They all said no. I don't remember who finally talked to me about how the hormones were affecting my body, and that the location of the hormones can cause different side effects depending on how they're administered. I'm glad I figured it out though and I wish this stuff was talked about more often. Maybe then I could have avoided a lot of physical and mental discomfort.

March 30, 2010 - 8:38pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Actually I highly doubt that those effects were from NuvaRing. In fact, NuvaRing usually has the exact opposite effect. It produces vaginal secretions (wetness) because of having lactobacillus (good bacteria). This can happen when a "foreign body" is in the vagina. People need to stop thinking they have a medical degree and diagnosing themselves by looking on the internet. That's what a DOCTOR IS FOR!

April 9, 2010 - 10:50pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I believe it is likely due to my own personal "vaginal" experience. I have been experiencing vaginal dryness since using the nuvaring as well. Although I have heard a few friends lament of vaginal discharge, I asked my gynecologist about possible symptoms and he didn't mention any. I actually experience increased discharge the first month and progressively became more dry. I was 30 y.o. and didn't previously experience this issue, so I believe I have discovered the culprit. I noticed tons of women report this symptom, so I think their anecdotal evidence has some value. I also value the opinion of medical professionals; but, I also undersand that many doctors have an incentive for prescribing certain meds and products. I was literally talked into and convinced into getting an IUD from a gynecologist a seven years ago. I don't have any kids, the Dr stated it was fine as long as I was in a monogamous relationship. She stated this was the best form of birth control and she didn't recommend any other form. She stated the pills I requested was old-fashioned and I would love the IUD. Well, the IUD was incorrectly inserted (the dr bent it and cut the entire string),it implanted in my uterine wall and was eventually surgically removed after an extemely painful attempt to remove non-surgically . Of course one may conclude that I should have made an informed decision....which is correct. I did research before the insertion, but ultimately trusted the Dr's assurances . It is my body and my health. Information is power! The Dr's expertise is valued, but research is important and we should not ignore our instincts and intuition.

July 8, 2016 - 3:28am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Well, unfortunately no DOCTOR was able to figure out why I was having the symptoms I was experiencing, even after almost a year of suffering. I finally decided to stop nuvaring, and when I did, all undesirable symptoms went away. So, although nuvaring is not supposed to cause any more vaginal irritations or infections, it sometimes CAN. I work at a women's clinic and I hear women complain about nuvaring all the time (of course, there are many women who also love it!!) Every woman's body is different, and she will respond differently to different methods of birth control. Although doctors are important, and yes they are experts, the woman is the only person who truly knows her body. And she is the true expert on her own body. We must always listen to the woman first and foremost. And if you are having issues, do not let a doctor disregard what you say, because they are not always right. My negative experience with nuvaring was real, and I encourage any woman who has unwanted symptoms to consider whether or not she wants to switch to a different form of birth control. Just something to be aware of. Know your body!

April 21, 2010 - 10:18am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Well said, i'm not sure why this previous commenter felt it necessary to insult a person because of their personal "vaginal" experience. I have been experiencing vaginal dryness since using the nuvaring as well. Although I have heard a few friends lament of vaginal discharge, I asked my gynecologist about possible symptoms and he didn't mention any. I actually experience increased discharge the first month and progressively became more dry. I am pretty young and didn't previously experience this issue, so I believe I have the culprit. Oh, and I also value the opinion of medical professionals; but, I also undersand that many doctors have an incentive for prescribing certain meds and products. I was literally convinced and talked into getting an IUD from a gynecologist a few years ago--I didn't have any kids, it was incorrectly inserted (the dr bent it and cut the entire string),it implanted in my uterine wall and was surgically removed. Information is power! Research is important, the Dr's expertise is valued, but we should not ignore our instincts and intuition.

July 8, 2016 - 3:09am
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Sexual Health

Get Email Updates

Resource Centers

Related Checklists

Sexual Health Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!