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The Contraceptive Ring: So much for "the birds and the bees"…

Posted Oct 28 2010 5:13am


The term 'safe sex' is just as stupid the term 'responsible drinking'. Evidence suggests that the number of deaths due to drunken driving seem to either stay the same or increase despite efforts to curtail this excessive behavior with several alcohol rehab centers and rules enforced by police officers.

It's no different with sex as the number of those afflicted by AIDS is on the rise, and while most folk attribute this to the inability to "set limits" in either case, the truth for a long time has been that 'wine' and 'women' has always been classified as "vices" in the lives, and it doesn't seem that this is about to change.

While in the case of alcoholism, the person who drinks is the one who is affected most (while friends and family suffer to an extent indirectly), sex involves two people… and to put it distastefully, a process where the exchange of body fluids occurs that can forever change both their lives through an unwanted pregnancy.


While the male condom has been largely in use as one solution to the issue of unprotected sex, alternatives such as contraceptives (in different forms) that women can use to safeguard herself has been in use for some time too.

From the Birth Control Pill to the hormonal patch, injections and implants to the Diaphragm and the Cervical Cap and rather controversially, abortion… there have been recent inventions among these that have been introduced to deal with this age-old problem.

One of these is the Vaginal Hormonal Ring (also known as the NuvaRing®) that employs a unique method by means of hormonal medicine. Using this birth control device is very simple as one just has to squeeze the sides of the ring together and then insert it into their vagina, very similar to how you would insert a tampon.

As recommended by experts, once this is in place, one should keep it for at least three weeks, during which the hormonal medicine is released immediately as soon as this done. Women should remove this birth control device during the week of menstruation.

Consisting of hormones such as estrogen and progestin, they enter the bloodstream to prevent a woman's ovaries to release eggs while having an effect on the lining of the uterus and the mucus in the cervix as well.

But how this method measure up to the other common methods that are in use?

Benefits and side-effects of the Nuva Ring

According to most people who do use this method feel that it is a practice that can be kept private, as most partners do not even feel its presence. But the best part about this device is that it allows intercourse to be spontaneous (God knows why they make that condom packet so hard to open… or is it just that we men find hard to focus on anything else during a moment of spontaneity?)

And so, due to its flexibility, it poses no discomfort when used either apart from decreasing menstrual cramps, acne while also making menstrual periods regular and lighter.

At another level altogether,  this device reduces the chances of getting ovarian and uterine cancer, ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease and even anemia.

However, there are side effects such as nausea, headaches and increased appetite apart from increasing the likelihood of blood clots. Moreover, women with certain medical conditions or who are taking certain medication cannot use this vaginal ring.

And most of all, you need a prescription from a physician to use this type of birth control device…

In Closing

And while experts consider this method to be about 98% effective in birth control, at least, from a pragmatic point-of-view, the inventors of such a method have at least kept in mind the spontaneity factor that often makes sex so passionate and enjoyable. But the clincher is that it doesn't protect one from STDs but only from "procreating"…

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