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Shortened Periods On Nuvaring - Help!!!!! (Page 1)

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Hi all.

I've been a Nuvaring user for about 6 months now, and, all-in-all, it is an acceptable method for me. I have a great deal of trouble during my ring-free week, though, with horrible cramping, bloating, and mood swings. This month, I couldn't take it anymore and inserted a new ring after a five-day period. My question is this; can I then follow my usual set scheledule with the Nuvaring? With a five-day break I would still follow the 28 day sheledule, but instead have it in for 23 days, out for 5. I have heard there is an extra week of hormones in each ring. Of course the first 7 days of this regimen I will use condoms as an extra precaution. I really need help, because some people are telling me this isn't safe, and others are not! Really I follow my insertion dates to the letter, and would do the same with this program.
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replied October 23rd, 2007
Especially eHealthy
You need to keep it in for the full set of days, otherwise it is not as effective. Never shorten the active cycle. You can shorten your period all you want, even to the point of not bothering to have one, but you must keep the ring in for the full number of days. How many days is the ring supposed to be in?

When you put in the new ring you do not need to use condoms as long as you kept the previous ring in for the required number of days, no longer, no shorter.
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replied October 23rd, 2007
Especially eHealthy
If you want to skip your period you can keep the ring in for four weeks (no longer though!) and insert a new one right away.

Like Eiri said, shortening your period won't matter.
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replied October 23rd, 2007
Well that's what I want to do, is shorten my period.
The directions say to keep it in for 21 days, then take it out for 7, making it a grand total of 28 days. What I want to do is keep the ring in for 23 days, and have a 5 day period. This is possible only on the assumption that the ring contains a total of 28 days of hormones.

Talking with Nuvaring professionals, they said I could only use as directed, and advised against anything but 21 days in, 7 days out. But my mood swings are so bad in the ring-free week.....

Really I follow everything to the letter. I think they make the pattern so, of course on safe effectiveness, but also because it's easy to remember and a set scheledule. But I keep a very tight scheledule with my birth control, and do not deviate from it.
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replied October 23rd, 2007
Especially eHealthy
DO not leave it in for 23 days!!! Take it out after 21 days, wait ONLY 5, and then put in a new one. Like we said, you can shorten the off days as much as you want, but you absolutely cannot extend the in days.
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replied October 24th, 2007
Thanks for your help. I had heard you COULD leave the ring in for up to 28 days and be protected; that's why I was fiddling with it. It's not worth the extra worries, though. I'll go back to the 21 in, 7 out, so I can get on with my life.
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replied October 24th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Yeah Eiri you can, it says you can in the packaging. If you start a new ring right away, instead of getting your period, just like taking all active pills and not placebos.

There are enough hormones in the ring to last for four weeks, or so the package insert says.
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replied October 24th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
NO NO NO!!!!!

YOU CAN EXTEND NUVA RING!!

The hormones in it are actually effective for 35 days, which is why I recommend to my women who want a cheap alternative to SKIP periods.

She CAN leave it in LONGER if she wishes.

You can always TAKE MORE PILLS, or leave your ring in longer, you just CANNOT EXTEND THE PLACEBO WEEK!

YOU can extend hormones all you want, just do not extend the 'nuva ring free' time.
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replied October 24th, 2007
I appreciate all your imput. I do want to extend my hormone days, and maybe in the future I will. Right now, though, I'm gonna stick to the packaging. When I put my ring in two days earlier this month, I had pretty bad nausea and headache. Whether that be from the hormones or all this silly worry, unable to tell. We women, I believe, with knowledge and careful planning have more control over our fertility than many professionals might have us believe. No disrespect to the medical profession, but they standardize stuff more than neccecarily it has to be. When the nurse I consulted with said that I might get pregnant by shortening my hormone-free periods, it made no sense to me. Why would you be "safer" when you would spend more time without birth control? But, I got on this medication so that I could erase all (most) doubts about pregnancy from my mind. If a doctor says the only way I can be safe is by following a standardized regimen, then maybe it's in my best intrests to do it, even if I have to suffer.

By the way, the Nuvaring official help line will not confirm that there is extra hormones in the ring, even though their website basically says there is.
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replied October 24th, 2007
by the way again, the nurse at the Nuvaring website says I have to use backup protection for 7 days since I shortened my ring-free week to 5 days. I have a speculum, and everything seems to be going like normal, but that's what she said....


Argh! You're killin' me here!! Wink
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replied October 24th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
don't trust the website, they're just afraid of getting sued. Smile

You can trust cairfairy, she works in the field. She's as good as asking a doctor on these types of things.

And if you read the packaging carefully, what it says is not to leave it in longer than four weeks. So there you go, you're fine.
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replied October 25th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
You can shorten your pill/ring/patch free week all you want! You just cannot extend it beyond 7 days.

Just like you can use Nuva ring for 22 days, 23, days...until it is used up..

But you cannot use any less than 21 days, or you compromise protection.
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replied October 25th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Here is the rule with BC That I tell my women...

Rule of thumb

"No less than 21 days on your birth control method(pill, ring, patch), and no more than 7 days of a 'period week"

Other than that, you can do whatever you want as long as it follows that guideline!

You do not need 7 days of protection Razz
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replied October 26th, 2007
Thank you Carifairy.

I'm getting a book in the mail about birth control and a "well-timed period." I really want to know my body better and understand my reproductive cycle. Birth control gives us a lot of options. Really I am glad I bought the speculum and read up on fertility signals. It has been a great relief to know these things. I'm going to follow Nuvaring's set scheledule and then later, after checking with the doctor at Planned Parenthood, extending my cycle. If I did the 28 day in, 7 out routine, I would save over $100 a year! Plus less moody period times to worry about. Thanks again.
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replied October 26th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Being on birth control makes you temporarily infertile, so the same fertile signs to not exist..

I wanted to warn you in case you noticed anyhting strange about your cervical mucous..etc..
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replied October 26th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
That's true- when you're on birth control you shouldn't experience any of the fertility signals, and if you do, they don't really mean anything.

Good for you for getting educated though!
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replied October 27th, 2007
No I haven't noticed anything strange. To the contrary, during my "active" time, not much is going on. I don't want to freak anybody out with details, but "mucus plug" should answer all doubts. Nothing else is going on. Once I know that is in place, I am relieved.
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replied October 27th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Hahaha XD That brightened my day Wink
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replied October 26th, 2010
This conversation might be long dead by now, but I have a NuvaRing question if there's still anyone out there who'd like to answer.
I've been on NuvaRing for 3 months now, and just this last month I accidentally left it in 3 days longer than I was supposed to. So I took it out and after four days I put in a new one. And all that just went dandy, no problems there. Then the other day, 2 days before I was supposed to take the ring out anyways, my period started. First it was just really light, a little heavier than spotting, and a dark red/almost brown in color, not the normal thing for me, and then it progressed to a full blown period. So I took the ring out (because it was time to anyways). So why did that happen I guess is my question?
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replied May 3rd, 2012
FDA info
Again this thread may be dead but here is the official FDA information on this topic:

http://www.drugs.com/pro/nuvaring.html

Prolonged Use of NuvaRing
If NuvaRing has been left in place for up to one extra week (i.e., up to four weeks total), the woman will remain protected. NuvaRing should be removed and the woman should insert a new ring after a one-week ring-free interval. The mean serum etonogestrel concentration during the fourth week of continuous use of NuvaRing was 1272 311 pg/mL compared to a mean concentration range of 1578 408 to 1374 328 pg/mL during weeks one to three. The mean serum ethinyl estradiol concentration during the fourth week of continuous use of NuvaRing was 16.8 4.6 pg/mL compared to a mean concentration range of 19.1 4.5 to 17.6 4.3 pg/mL during weeks one to three. If NuvaRing has been left in place for longer than four weeks, pregnancy should be ruled out, and an additional method of contraception, such as male condoms or spermicide, MUST be used until a new NuvaRing has been used continuously for seven days.
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