I am an advocate of the birth control pill and believe it is easy to use and has relatively low side effects, but it only works if you remember to take it!
If you can’t remember to take a pill daily and need something effective long- term contraception options such as an IUD or a subdermal implant, Nexplanon or Implanon, are great options. With that said, some women just cant handle that type of commitment.
So, here are two other short-term options:
The NuvaRing contains the same hormones as the birth control pill, estrogen and progesterone. It just has another method of delivery. Because it works the same way, it also has the same side effects and risks so you must talk to your doctor before trying it.
It is a round plastic circle that looks very much like those bracelets that people wear in support of great causes.
The plastic circle is easily folded like a taco and placed into the back of your vagina.
Ninety-six percent of all women or their partners don’t feel the NuvaRing and if they do feel it, it doesn’t hurt or bother them. You can use your hands to insert it if you are comfortable. Alternatively, you can take a tampon, remove the tampon and place the ring in the tampon inserter and use the inserter to get it into the right spot. You may insert it lying down, sitting on the toilet, or standing with one leg up. It has a low dose of both estrogen and progesterone that it releases every day over a three week period. This is great for anyone concerned about or sensitive to hormones since it is a constant release and therefore, there are no hormonal fluctuations. It even releases a dose lower than most pills on the market-although that doesn’t make it any less effective.
At the end of the three weeks you take it out, have a period for one week, and then insert a new one.
I was once discussing this method with a group of friends when one of my guy friends told a very peculiar story.
“I was hooking up with a girl once, she was on top of me and I felt that thing and was like, what’s that? She reached in, pulled it out, and flicked it onto my face… Nuva Ring joys, mawn.”
Of course you shouldn’t remove it during intercourse, but in the event that it does fall out then or at any other time—or like this chick you completely lose your damn mind and think its appropriate to fling it at a dude or anyone else’s face—it can still be effective if left outside of the body for three hours and reinserted.
Now on to an alternative that doesn’t also double as a kinky slingshot.
Brand Name: Ortho Evra. The Patch also has the same hormonal make up as The Pill and the Nuva Ring, but for some reason it isn’t as popular. I do not really know why, because to me it just sounds cool. When I think of wearing the patch I am fondly taken back to an image of Carrie Bradshaw when she was trying to quit smoking for Aiden and she would have her nicotine patch just slapped on her bare arm in broad daylight as an accessory to her street chic couture.
When I am explaining the patch to a patient I often make the same motion to my bicep as Carrie did in the mirror the first time she tried the nicotine patch and watched her precious cancer sticks flush down the toilet, while her inner voice narrated a catchy phrase about their relationship.
“Does it have to go on your arm there?” my patients almost always ask. If you are as cool as SJP in her heyday it does, but the answer is no, the Patch may also be placed also your abdomen, buttock or back. Any place where it won’t be rubbed by tight clothing.
There are also places you cannot put the patch. Do not put the Patch on your breasts (it doesn’t double as nipple tape), on cut or irritated skin (it’s not a band aid), or on the same location as the previous Patch (you got to switch it up). It also shouldn’t be placed on freshly lotioned, sprayed, buttered, or fake-tanned skin. The patch is placed weekly for three weeks and then left off a week when you are on your period. It is also okay for you to take a shower or bathe with it, swim with it, and also exercise without it falling off.
The most important thing to know about The Patch is that as stated earlier, it has the same hormonal make up of The Pill and The Nuva Ring; estrogen and progesterone, but because The Patch delivers these through the skin and into the blood stream it exposes you to sixty percent more estrogen than an equally strong pill would. So that means a higher risk for blood clots. So it is very, very important to talk to your doctor about any medical conditions before starting. You are also not a candidate for either of these options if you are over 35 and smoking.
Overall, these are two great options that are often overlooked by many women that may not want something long term, but also may forget a daily pill. Never forget that you have options ladies!!!