little plastic ring
master of my uterus
no babies for me
Yes, that’s a haiku, what can I say; I really love my Nuva Ring. I spend a lot of time at work counseling women on their birth control options, and I’ve noticed that sometimes when women request the pill, it’s with a sigh and a “Well I’ll just try to set my phone alarm or do it when I get up in the morning,” after telling me how last time they just couldn’t remember to take it. You know, I can’t take pills either. I’m forgetful, and worse, when I do remember sometimes I’m just too lazy to get up and go to the other room to get them. Luckily I discovered the Nuva Ring. We’ve all seen the commercial with the annoyingly catchy jingle (Oh oh, oh oh oh oh!), but it’s still something a lot of women aren’t very familiar with.
The gist: It’s a plastic ring, you place it at the top of the vagina by your cervix, where it releases hormones over the course of 3 weeks and prevents ovulation, just like the birth control pill does. The Nuva Ring site does a nice job of explaining how to insert it: “After washing and drying your hands, remove NuvaRing from the foil pouch. Holding NuvaRing between your thumb and index finger, press the sides together. Insert NuvaRing while lying down, squatting, or standing with one leg up – whatever is most comfortable for you. Gently push the folded ring into your vagina. The exact position of NuvaRing is not important for it to be effective. If you feel discomfort, NuvaRing is probably not inserted back far enough into the vagina. Use your finger to gently push the NuvaRing farther into your vagina. Rest assured, NuvaRing cannot be pushed too far up or get lost in your body. In fact, NuvaRing cannot go farther than the cervix. Once inserted, keep NuvaRing in place for three weeks in a row.” To remove, just reach up with your finger, hook it around the edge of the ring, and pull it right out. After seven days (just like your seven days of placebo pills in your pill pack), put a new one in.
There is nothing else quite like the Ring on the market yet, so I get some strange looks when I tell women about it. “Oh … no.” “It just sits there inside you?” “I feel weird having some foreign object inside of me.” Fair enough! Yes, it’s a plastic ring; yes, you have to keep it inside your vagina; yes, it stays there for at least three weeks. It’s a little weird. But I promise you don’t feel it when it’s there, and usually your partners can’t feel it (and if they can, it’s not ever-present, and it’s not uncomfortable). It’s the most convenient method that has combined hormones, which are best for keeping your periods regular (unlike the Depo shot or the Mirena IUD which, while more long-term, alter or end your period while in use). Although you can leave it in for a full four weeks if you like, and insert a new ring right away, allowing you to skip your period if that’s more your style. (Always ok this with your doctor first.)
- You deal with it twice a month, once to insert, once to remove.
- You don’t have to have a period if you don’t want to.
- It doesn’t interrupt sex.
- It’s super-comfortable.
- Obviously, it doesn’t protect you against STIs.
- After intercourse, please check to make sure the ring is still in place afterwards! Because you can’t feel it when it’s in place, you may not notice right away if it’s been pulled out.
Have you guys ever tried it? What was your experience?