This article is a part of the “I Heart My Birth Control” series that describes personal accounts of women and their birth control methods. These wonderful sheroes share their journey to finding the best option for their unique lives. If you’d like to contribute a piece, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Figuring out birth control is a vagina puzzle. It’s a personal, private and tricky decision. So obviously as a Millennial lady, I want to talk extensively about it on social media and at happy hour with my lady friends.
I’ve been using NuvaRing for about two years and it’s been a quite “fitting” experience.
I went through puberty very early; my Aunt Flo came to visit me for the first time Easter Sunday at church in 2001 when I was the ripe age of 10. For the first few years of my period, I suffered from extremely painful cramps that made me physically ill, which caused me to miss school every month. It came to a point where I needed to find a solution. After talking with my mom and with my doctor I went on birth control (The Pill) around the age of 13 and was on it for about 10 years with brief intermissions.
Switching to NuvaRing has changed my life. That sounds more dramatic than it is, but it is true. Taking a pill every day was difficult for me, as it is for many young women and adults. My life is not consistent on a day-to-day basis. I have always been involved with various activities and commitments. Although there are tons of ways, such as alarms or subscription services like Bedsider, to remind you to take the pill, it wasn’t my thing. On months that I was consistent, I received all the benefits of The Pill, such as light periods, little to no cramps, and no breakthrough bleeding. But because of the inconsistency most months, it was not working well for me.
Before I was prescribed NuvaRing, I heard all the horror stories. I had heard of it falling out during intimacy or feeling uncomfortable inside you. I seriously considered the birth control shot, but had also heard negative things about that, and once you get it you cannot simply “undo” it; you must experience the whole three month course of effects.
To make the decision process easier, I went to the gynecologist, (Fun fact: the OBGYN who owns the practice I went to delivered me as a baby!) and asked about my birth control options. I told her I was interested in the shot and she told me about the side effects. We talked about all the options and she suggested NuvaRing instead and I responded, “I am not a gynecologist, you are, you know more than me about this so let’s do it.” I’ve never regretted it for a moment. I have not experienced any negative side effects and it has never “fallen out.” You can take it out for up to three hours (if you are having sex or maybe doing some spring cleaning in your hoohaa).
Overall, it is a simple and easy-to-use birth control option; I put it in for three weeks, take it out and then get my period. As any hormone birth control option, it does not protect against STDs or HIV.
NuvaRing is simple and it’s not something I have to think about every day. It has similar risks as most other birth controls, but to me it has more benefits and it’s a great match to my lifestyle. It empowers me as a woman to live a healthy life free from the pain and suffering I experienced as part of my monthly menstrual cycle in my preteen years. It also allows me to postpone pregnancy until it fits into my life plan while remaining sexually active. The decision to go on NuvaRing was an informed choice between my doctor and I, which is the best place for women’s health decisions to be made.
As my comedic idol, life role model, and Glamour’s Trailblazer of the Year, Amy Schumer would say, NuvaRing makes me feel so glamourous!
Editor’s Note: As you may have heard, Nuva Ring has been connected to increased risk of blood clots. As with all medical decisions, you should consult your doctor to find out what’s right for you.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.