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Accidentally Shortened My Nuvaring Schedule

By Anonymous December 7, 2010 - 8:34am
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I've been using Nuvaring successfully for over seven years. For the first time ever, I neglected to follow the 3-week-in/1-week-out schedule. I inserted a new nuvaring on 11/11. After having the nuvaring in for 2 weeks, I took it out on 11/25 (incorrectly thinking it was the third week already). I had an extremely heavy and uncomfortable bleeding 11/28-12/1. I understand that this was a withdrawal bleeding, which isn't a true menstrual bleeding. After one week out, I inserted a new nuvaring on 12/2.

I can't remember for sure, but I believe that my husband and I had sex on 12/1. We had sex again on 12/6. We did not use a condom, relying on the nuvaring. I realized this morning that I messed up my nuvaring schedule. My doctor was too busy to really talk to me but said to use protection for the rest of the month. Well, it's already too late for that.

Nuvaring Product Information says that when the nuvaring is removed during the 3rd week, there are two options: insert a new ring or go one-week without. My situation is the latter, but either option is followed by the caveat "A barrier method such as condoms or spermicides must be used until the new ring has been used continuously for seven days."

I've had sex twice: once before inserting a new ring and once after. Should I be considering emergency contraception? Is it likely that I'm pregnant?

Thanks for your help. I'm borderline frantic right now.

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Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for your question and for finding EmpowHER. This question would be best answered by your doctor's office. From what I've read on the Nuvaring website, if you have used the contraception as directed the week prior, you should be ok. The back-up method of birth control is precautionary. However, if you are super concerned, ask your doctor's office about using emergency contraception with Nuvaring. I couldn't find out if it's ok to take it when you're using Nuvaring as birth control.
For more information on emergency contraception, please review this article so you can advocate for your health: Emergency Contraception Update, 2010
Good luck, and let us know how you're doing.

December 7, 2010 - 9:41am
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