ladyparts cause ladyfrustration
December 27, 2015 11:25 PM   Subscribe

I am having a NuvaRing issue that is really annoying. Hoping you guys can help me figure out how to deal with it.

So, I love the NuvaRing deeply and it has changed my life from miserable to A+++. I use it continuously with breaks every three or four months. But I have noticed an incredibly inconvenient and annoying pattern. I tend to spot... after masturbating. Not only is this not ideal in general (I'd obviously prefer to spot... never), but it also makes me nervous about having sex - am I just guaranteed embarrassing messy sex aftereffects or something?

Has anyone encountered this problem? Is there anything I can do to stop this from happening?

Thanks in advance, my metafilter friends.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
#1 - Call your doctor and ask about the spotting and effectiveness concerns.

# 2 - Use pantry liners. Just do it. Go ahead. They rock. You will feel so much better, even without spotting. You can change them every time you go to the loo, even. I wish I had understood how great panty liners were much earlier in my life.
posted by jbenben at 11:39 PM on December 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh my god, I'm not alone.

I was on nuvaring as a teenager, and tried to skip periods with it. There was a lot of bleeding! The only thing that stopped it, I think, was going off of it.

For what it's worth, I didn't have the same effect when I got the shot instead.
posted by you could feel the sky at 11:39 PM on December 27, 2015

If you love the ring, I think it's worth doing some troubleshooting before switching to a different form of HBC. My recommendation would be to try cutting down to only using it two months at a time before letting yourself have a withdrawal bleed. The issue might just be that your menstrual lining is building up just a little too much over that 3 - 4 months.

My experience with spotting is that - depending on how much you're spotting - it's a bit less noticable during sex than it might be otherwise. There's more lubrication (natural and artificial), which can help disguise what's going on.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 1:05 AM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Definitely talk to your doctor. Also, I this this also depends on 1) How much spotting - just some blood after? A little brown discharge? and 2) how often this happens or how long between penetration.

For example, I don't often spot just regularly. I was on HBC pill for 8 years, off them for about 3 months now (vasectomy! yay!). However if I go more than say, a couple weeks, between having sex or anything penetrative, I'll spot a little - sometimes a dab of bright red for a couple hours. It just seems like my body and cervix is like "Woah, woah!" and bleeds a little. However if I'm more active, it doesn't happen.

In general if it DOES happen it just causes a little bit of brown or a little bit of blood. I've never had a "huge mess" or anything. It usually happens AFTER everything anyway. Also I assume you are swapping them every 3 or 4 weeks or whatever. Spotting is a side effect of lower dose continuous hormones.
posted by SockWombat at 1:19 AM on December 28, 2015

You don't mention when you last saw the doc but I am assume that since you're on Rx it was within the last year. I also use and love NuvaRing. My first recommendation would be to stop skipping your periods! You'll have to weigh what's more important to you — not having a period or not spotting.

Secondly, there are other things that might be causing the spotting, unrelated to your bc. Cervical plyps, for example, can cause spotting. They are typically harmless but might be to be removed. Bottom line: ask your doc.
posted by Brittanie at 2:17 AM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

I spot on Nuvaring unless I only skip every other period. Maybe experiment with timing?
posted by mchorn at 5:29 AM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

IME spotting has been indicative of too low of a hormone dose. It could be coincidental that it's only happening when you're "active"... which means a discussion and perhaps exam with your physician is probably in order to rule our any other cause. Good luck.
posted by FergieBelle at 6:30 AM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

Are we talking about penetration here? Like, could it just be friction with the ring in there, causing some minor abrasions? Because it's OK to take it out before penetration as long as you remember to put it back in afterwards. According to the NuvaRing FAQs, the ring can be out for up to 3 hours before its effectiveness is compromised.
posted by snowmentality at 6:14 PM on December 28, 2015

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