Birth Control/NuvaRing filter: I've had the ring in for 4 weeks and 12 hours. Should I worry?
June 15, 2009 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Birth Control/NuvaRing filter: I've had the ring in for 4 weeks and 12 hours. Should I worry?

When I started the Ring my doctor actually advised me to just keep it in for four weeks if I wanted to miss a period, just trade old and new rings at the four week mark. But, I'm a day late putting the new Ring in this week.

All the NuvaRing documentation I can find says this:

"If NuvaRing® has been left in for more than 3 weeks (but less than 4 weeks), remove it immediately and insert a new ring after a 1-week ring-free break.

If NuvaRing® has been left in place for more than 4 weeks, you may not be adequately protected from pregnancy.... etc."

Doing the math, isn't putting a new ring in today with no break just the same as realizing I was "over 3 but under 4 weeks" a couple days ago therefore being on my recommended week-long break anyway?
posted by dahliachewswell to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
 
You might want to ask the ladies at vaginapagina, but I believe that your doctor might have misinformed you--in order to skip your periods, you should be switching your ring at the end of the third week, not the fourth, to ensure that you're getting the same amount of hormones continuously.

I would put a new ring in immediately and use back-up birth control for at least the first seven days with the new ring.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:56 AM on June 15, 2009


I leave mine in for 4 weeks and don't get periods. My doctor said all the girls in the office do it that way.
posted by stormygrey at 9:57 AM on June 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Whoops, checked vaginapagnia myself and this is what they say: "It is generally removed every 3 weeks to induce a period, though according to this information from the Nuva Ring website, there are actually sufficient hormone concentrations to allow for 4 weeks (28 days) of use from a single ring."

Still, if the manufacturer is telling you that you may not be protected on the 29th day of use, I'd use a back-up method for the first week anyhow. It really can't hurt, at least.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:00 AM on June 15, 2009


What about leaving it in for 28 days and then taking a week off? Would that work?
posted by elsietheeel at 10:10 AM on June 15, 2009


Elsie,

My Dr. gave me the stern Dr. face when I suggested your scenario... He said there is no proof that the hormone would stay in your body long enough to cover week 5.

I wouldn't risk it.
posted by prettymightyflighty at 10:20 AM on June 15, 2009


I'm not sexually active at the moment, but I really don't pay close attention to when I take my ring out, and I never get my period until I take it out. So while I'm probably not protected from pregancy, it serves the purpose of regulating my periods past the 3 week date.
posted by emilyd22222 at 10:28 AM on June 15, 2009


I've never gotten pre-period symptoms (which I interpret as hormonal levels falling below some threshold) with a ring in, unless it has been in for longer than 5 weeks. YMMV and IANAD, of course.
posted by ecsh at 11:00 AM on June 15, 2009


Yes, I believe your math is right and you would still be protected (no need for back-up) if you put a new Nuvaring in today. As you point out, if you'd had the NuvaRing in for, say, 25 days (3 weeks and 4 days) and then took the ring-free week recommended by the manufacturer you would be putting a new ring in 11 days after 3 weeks of continuous use, if you put a new one in now you'll only be 7.5 days past the 3 weeks. See also my note to Elsietheeel below.

Elsietheeel: I was told by my OB/GYN that a 4 weeks in, 1 week out schedule will protect you from pregnancy. I have been doing this for the past 2 years without any resulting babies. Others at vaginapagina have been told the same thing. But I see that prettymightyflightly has been told differently, so it's probably smart to check with your doctor as well.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 11:00 AM on June 15, 2009


I regularly left mine in for four weeks before taking it out. Anecdotal data only, but I used Nuvoring very successfully for several years with no incidents.
posted by arnicae at 11:21 AM on June 15, 2009


It depends on how much of a pregnancy risk you find acceptable, really. You can definitely go exactly 4 weeks straight on one ring, provided you put a new ring in immediately afterward. Even if the amount of hormones drops off a bit, it's no different than having a ring-out week.

Since the acceptable amount of time to have your ring out is 3 hours, and you've gone 12 hours past what is considered Definitely Safe, I would recommend putting a new ring in right now, and using a backup method for the next 7 days.

I've called the NuvaRing toll-free hotline before and the operator was really nice. If you need reassurance in the form of a human voice, the number is on the website.
posted by giraffe at 12:20 PM on June 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


I leave my ring in for 4 weeks, then immediately insert a new ring after removing the old one. I've been doing this for approximately 2 years, and per my doctor's instructions. I rarely have periods, but occasionally have some breakthrough bleeding.

Put a new ring in today, and you should be protected from pregnancy. If you are having sex and want to be sure you're protected from pregnancy, use a backup method for the next 7 days.
posted by pecanpies at 7:17 PM on June 15, 2009


thanks all! gotta love my fellow ring users, holla
posted by dahliachewswell at 4:00 PM on June 16, 2009


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