WTF... Is The Nu­vaRing?

Say hello to the fuss-free con­tra­cep­tive you’ve never heard of

Women's Health (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

When it comes to con­tra­cep­tives, we’re pretty fa­mil­iar with the reg­u­lars: the pill, IUD, in­jec­tion and, of course, good ol’ con­doms. But now, there’s a new kid on the block – the con­tra­cep­tive vagi­nal ring or Nu­vaRing. Trans­par­ent and mea­sur­ing 54mm in di­am­e­ter, the ring is a com­bined hor­monal con­tra­cep­tive that first be­came avail­able in South Africa in 2013. While still rel­a­tively un­known when com­pared to the pill, Dr Ju­dith Kluge, an ob­ste­tri­cian and gy­nae­col­o­gist at Tyger­berg Hos­pi­tal in Cape Town, says that “the Nu­vaRing of­fers an ac­cept­able al­ter­na­tive to com­bined oral con­tra­cep­tives (COCs), es­pe­cially for women who want im­proved men­strual cy­cle con­trol, as there are bet­ter bleed­ing pat­terns com­pared to the COC.” The ring is in­serted once ev­ery four weeks and is re­moved af­ter three weeks so that you ex­pe­ri­ence a “pe­riod” or with­drawal bleed­ing. It’s held in place by the walls of your vagina and pelvic-floor mus­cles and it doesn’t mat­ter where it sits in­side you. Wor­ried about awk­ward mo­ments in the bed­room? Don’t be, you don’t need to re­move it be­fore you get it on – many cou­ples don’t feel it at all dur­ing sex. But, if you’d pre­fer, you can take it out for three hours (although this isn’t rec­om­mended). The ring comes with a range of benefits that may just trump the pill: since hor­mones are re­leased con­tin­u­ously into your vagina and not through your di­ges­tive sys­tem, lower doses can be used and, while there are drugs that de­crease the ring’s ef­fec­tive­ness (cer­tain an­ti­con­vul­sants for epilepsy and an­tiretro­vi­rals for HIV), most an­tibi­otics have no af­fect on the ring (the only one is one for TB). For the pre­oc­cu­pied girl-on-the-go, how­ever, the big­gest perk of all is that you don’t need to re­mem­ber to take it ev­ery day at the same time... Good­bye, alarm!

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