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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....
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.
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.
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?
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.