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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Nuva Ring

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Author Topic: Nuva Ring
reonz
Peer Educator-in-Training
Member # 35313

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Okay, So I have a couple of questions.
I started the Nuva Ring about two weeks ago, but it was towards the end of my cycle, not the beginning. I read that it was ideal to start on the first day, but if inserted any day thereafter, it needs to be in for a solid week before you are protected against pregnancy.
I haven't had intercourse since I inserted the ring, but in the three week span before I inserted it, I had sex several times, with a condom, with my boyfriend, but there were also some instances of unprotected genital to genital contact.
My first question is what is the impact of the ring on a body, and on fetus, if I was pregnant?
(I don't think I am, but there was a risk)
Secondly, I've been having a difficult time with vaginal lubrication. I know that that is one of the side effects, but I was wondering if it is ok to still engage in intercourse if I'm not lubricated ...almost at all? With lube of course? It just seems counterintuitive, because I would assume that if I wasn't wet, it would be, or at least could be, harmful due to lack of genital arousal, even though I'd really like to engage in intercourse. And if I'm not self-lubricating, is my cervix still being pulled back to allow for intercourse?
Lastly I was wondering if abdominal pain, almost cramp-like, is a side effect of the ring? Or if it could be related to the risk I mentioned above? About three or four times a day, for the last..about five days, I've gotten intense abdominal pain, in my lower abdomen, aka my uterus, and it almost makes me double over in pain.

~just wonderin.
Thanks so much!

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Well, if you became pregnant, you'd want to stop using the ring. So, should you not get your withdrawal bleed on time, you'll want to take a pregnancy test if you had any pregnancy risks before you used it.

One doesn't want to remain on hormonal contraceptives when pregnant because they will impair fetal deveopment.

Per the lubrication issue, no, there is no harm in having intercourse using as much additional lubricant as you need/want if you're not lubricating yourself enough. Too, that won't mean you're not aroused just because you aren't vaginally lubricating enough: and if you find out you're not when you start intercourse, all you need to do is stop.

You should not be having abdominal crmaping due to the ring, and cramping that intense should be looked into by your general doctor.

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jennifer0246
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Hi Heather,
Can you cite a source that hormonal contraception impairs fetal development? I've heard that before, but all evidence I've found is simply stating that bcp certainly can't help an already-established pregnancy, and that it won't harm one.

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-Lauren-
Activist
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(Heather is currently out of town, but I will leave her a note to get back to you in a couple days. Thanks for bringing this to our attention! [Smile] )
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Sorry to be slow getting back here, but didn't want this to sit.

I probably should have made a less blanket statement there (this is what happens when you try and post while running away to do something else), and simply said that we'd advise women to come off hormones once they know they are pregnant.

But hey, I'm glad you asked all the same, because as it turns out, I was ripe for a re-review of the material, since it is starting to look like newer formulations of many hormonal methods are not showing the same results older ones were.

Anyway, while we still don't have conclusive studies to show THAT it creates issues, we also don't have anything conclusive yet (that I can find, anyway) to show it doesn't. Sounds like the same thing you're saying, too, but if you have anything extra you've seen and want to share, I'd be interested.

Most studies that I've seen which suggest issues - like this one -- have been done outside the states, and conclusions inside the states, at this time (usually specific to one method) are more like this. The FDA warning label for progestin-onlies of late reads like this. This study (with mice, so) also came up again somewhere recently. Too, this is all dependent on what levels of hormones we're talking about -- with the older, higher-dose OCPs, we did have issues showing problems. Steroid hormones in general, have been shown to be problematic in the past, too. However, we also don't see any studies showing that women on hormonal methods, once off, take longer than other women to become pregnant, even though fertility experts often find that not to be so in practice, as do many women. It's such a sticky wicket, all of this, sometimes, especially in countires like ours where a given medication is a for-profit enterprise. In a lot of these studies, I also find some weird "Of course, no woman would be taking OCPs once pregnant," which is a pretty weird thing to posit, given how difficult it can be for women on them to discover they are pregnant.

We do already know that ectopic pregnancy is more likely, or a uterine preg. moving to an ectopic, with women on hormonal methods, and also that being on them while pregnant can up cardiovascular risks to the mother. And given everything that happened with DES daughters, and all the issues we've had with HRT, my feeling is that it's best to advise anyone to be cautious and just ditch hormones if they suspected a pregnancy, not continuing -- and usuaing a nonhormonal backup method -- until they ruled it out.

(That may all sounds mushy and hazy: I'm still waiting on the coffeepot to deliver this morning. [Smile] )

[ 10-23-2007, 11:30 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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