I’m just going to be honest: I suck at remembering to take my birth control pill.
No matter how many alarms I set I have never been able to be as consistent as necessary in order for it to be effective. And I am pretty sure I am not alone. So I thought to myself, “why continue taking it?” The truth was I had been single for over a year and I wasn’t deep in the dating game where sleeping around was in the cards for me. Originally I had gotten on birth control for acne but after a round of accutane, that wasn’t enough of a solid reason. What I eventually came down to was that I always wanted to be protected no matter my relationship status. That meant that if/when I got in a relationship that I wouldn’t need to right off the bat have the “I’m not on birth control” conversation followed by the “should I get on birth control” conversation. I would just be ready. The next thought that followed was that I didn’t want to have to be reminded everyday that I was taking a precaution that a man would never have to worry about (ie. the pill).
So that is how I found myself at my gynecologist asking all the questions you don’t want to.
I explained my situation and right off the bat she recommended I got on the NuvaRing. She explained the side effects of all of the different methods of birth control and from her list of pros and cons the Nuvaring seemed like the most natural option for me. I don’t want to go into too much detail here because the choice to try out this birth control should be a discussion between you and your gyno.
So there’s a good chance you’ve made the decision. You’re going for the ring shoved up your vag each month.
Month 1 – Inserting the NuvaRing
My gyno gave me a “sample” ring for the first month which I didn’t know was a thing but it made me feel better because if I was uncomfortable with the insertion or the removal at all I wasn’t stuck with it.
So after waiting for my next period to come and go, the day came that I needed to get it in there. I found this website really helpful with diagrams. My initial, misinformed, thought was to get it as small as I could and push it up as hard as I could. In reality, I found the best method was to pinch the ring, put my leg on the toilet and put it in like I was putting in a tampon for the first time. It went in there pretty seamlessly once I figured it out and I couldn’t feel a thing! Literally nothing. I thought about fishing it back out because I was worried it was lost in the abyss (this was something my doctor said a lot of women think but really…there is nowhere for it go, so stay calm).
The first week or so of having it in I felt like I was peeing a lot; which makes sense because your body is getting used to a new thing on the inside. I also started a new job this first month which causes a lot of unattached emotions so I will note that I cried a ton this month which I don’t think was a fault to the Nuvaring, but worth mentioning.
Month 1 – Removing the NuvaRing
This was actually the most painless part of this entire process but the part that gave me the most anxiety. I distinctly remember saying to my doctor, “so what, at the end of the month I just go fishing for it and hope I hook the prize?” And that is basically what you end up doing. You stick your ringer far enough up until you feel something and just hook your finger in it and pull. It was a lot easier to find and remove than I thought it would be. I then just threw it in my trash but I later read that you’re supposed to keep the little bag it comes in and dispose of it in that. So I did that in month two.
Tip: Download the Nuva Ring Tracker Plus app. This just gives you friendly reminders to insert and take out the ring and also gives you a countdown. It’s helpful for us forgetful folks.
Month 2- Inserting
This process was no bueno. Not sure how I so easily inserted the ring the first time because man it came back with a vengeance. I spent most of the day that Sunday I put it in just trying to shove it back into my body. First attempt it fell out while I was peeing. Went out to get coffee and felt like it was going to fall out again. Finally, at the end of the day I had the thought to use a tampon to help get it up there further than I could with my finger and that finally fixed the issue! After some self education, I think this kept happening because my cervix were low (which my doctor has said to me before). If you don’t know what that means, like I didn’t, give this article a read. Our bodies really are fascinating in how our whole cycle primes us to have children. But thank the lord we have birth control to help us out when we don’t want that to be the case.
Another fun surprise this month was the post-insertion-bleeding. Basically I was spotting after my period and it was weird. It’s sometimes heavy enough to make it onto a panty liner and sometimes just shows up when you wipe, but it’s there. Maybe that’s TMI but that’s what you’re here for, isn’t it?
- It will not get lost in your vagina. These are your reproductive organs, not the Mall of America.
- It will not dissolve. This was something else my gyno mentioned she gets calls about. This is a plastic ring filled with hormones so you need to expect to take it out at the end of the month
- You might break out. This was something I kind of forgot happens when you switch birth control but in month three I started having cystic breakouts all over my chin. It wasn’t unmanageable but it was weird for me to experience again.
- You might be moody. This really on effected me week one but I think it’s another thing to keep in mind when switching your methods
- You won’t have to think about your family planning methods everyday. This is the biggest win for me. I don’t have to take up brain space to remember if I took my no-baby pill. I can just live my life and forget other things like my dirty dishes in the sink.
- Your partner shouldn’t feel it. This isn’t something I was able to test BUT my gyno assured me but, if you want advice from me I would probably warn them of what they may be encountering.
Have you tested out the NuvaRing? What is your preferred method of birth control?? Let me know on my most recent Instagram post!