Lord of the Ring

Now that I am no longer nursing, and due to the fact that I'm afraid of this awesome egg fertility I got going on, I have decided to go on birth control. Well, I got on it a couple of months after I had the frog princess as I was warned by a friend to not let him look at me without being on birth control. But it messed with my milk supply and I had to make a decision at that point in time. Which bring us to last month when I totally forgot to put in my prescription for my new medications. This month, though, I was prepared! I took my prescription in and dropped it off. Ten minutes later, I had the goods! I had decided to try the NuvaRing. I don't know about you, but I really like the commercial. And I love the idea of not having to remember to take a pill every day. I forget enough things already thankyouverymuch! For those of you that don't know what this is, it is a ring that you "insert" and then it releases hormones for 3 weeks. You then have to remove the ring for one week and start the cycle all over again. If you've ever been on the pill, it's like the 3 weeks of hormones, one week of placebos that you're used to.

Here's where it gets interesting. First of all, why did I get one little ring in a wrapper without instructions? I need the 30-fold documents with illustrations that no one ever reads. What I got instead was the pharmacy fyi sheet. Here's what it said. You can find my commentaries in italics.

Uses: this medication is a combination of 2 hormones (an estrogen and a progestin) and is used to prevent pregnancy (DUH!). It works mainly by preventing the relase of an egg (ovulation) during your menstrual cycle (really, you don't say?). It can also work by making vaginal fluid thicker to help prevent sperm from reaching an egg (fertilization) (I bet those sperm are pissed when they get to this point!) and by changing the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent attachment of a fertilized egg. If a fertilized egg does not attach to the uterus, it passes out of the body (I personally, don't like this one). Using this hormone ring does not protect you or your partner against HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) (don't you just love how they put acronyms in parenthesis? You'd think they'd put the definition in parenthesis but, there you go.  Oh and a big fat DUH on this one).

How to Use: Read the patient information leaflet provided by your pharmacist before you start using this product and each time you get a refill (um, I didn't get my leaflet! Should I call the pharmacy and complain?). Make sure you understand how to insert a new ring and how to dispose of the used product. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacy (can you imagine THAT call to the pharmacist! "yes, how exactly do I stick this ring into my vajayjay?"). This product is for one vaginal use only (do they REALLY have to say this?). Insert 1 ring and leave in for 3 continuous weeks (21 days) (for those of you who don't know what the hell 3 weeks means), then remove it and discard properly (what is this? Chemical waste?). Do not use a ring for a 1-week period. After the ring-free week (sounds like something guys do when they go out of town for a boys' weekend, doesn't it?), insert a new ring at about the same time of the same day that you removed the previous ring the week before (yeah, um, so now you want me to clock the ring removal escapade?  Maybe I should stick to the good ol' fashioned pill!).  It may be helpful to mark a calendar to remind you when to remove it and insert a new ring (this line should begin with: attention mamis!). Open the reclosable (I don't think this is a word! What happened to resealable?) foil pouch. Remove the ring (Lord knows if I had not read this, I would've stuck the whole thing in my vajayjay, pouch and all), saving the pouch to dispose of the ring after it is used (it's a nice pouch, I considered carrying my coins it in but now I have to save it for later use). Fold the ring in half gently (why, is it going to get upset if you're rough with it? Does it know where it's going?!) and insert into your vagina (thank you because had you not written that, I would've put it on a chain and worn it as a necklace then sued you for not telling me how to properly use it after I end up pregnant). When the ring is placed properly, you should not feel it, and it will not interfere with your sexual intercourse (though your partner may feel the ring) (HA! There's a nice gotcha.  I think the ring could add spontaneity to a relationship.  One minute it's birth control, the other minute, your penis has jewelry!). Unlike a diaphragm, the ring's exact position in the vagina does not matter as long as it stays secure inside (a. I'm glad the exact position doesn't matter because where can I get a speculum over a holiday weekend to help me set this thing in the right position and b. do I have to worry about this thing just falling out if it's not "secure"?). It is very important that you follow the directions carefully for when you insert and remove the ring to prevent pregnancy (so, for instance, if you don't wash your hands before starting this procedure, you COULD very well end up pregnant again!).

It goes into all kinds of details and specifics regarding whether it's the first day of your period or days 2-5. The best thing to do is to chart your cycle an then throw in a pivot table with some pie charts to help you figure out when to start this little bad boy. Or, I could just send you my template. The gist of this is that if you start it on the first day of your period then you do not need to use an alternate form of birth control whereas if you start it, let's say, on the Sunday after your period begins, you need a back up. Unless of course, you want to live on the edge. In which case, knock yourself up!

The instructions go on for several paragraphs. Here are some phrases that caught my attention:

  • Rarely, the ring can become attached to the vagina (really?! Because having a kid latched on to your boob for 17 months isn't enough? Now I need to worry about a little ring that I'm already about to tag with GPS attaching itself to my vagina? Why don't they say THIS in the commercial? I'm about to go back to see if they do!)
  • The vaginal ring may accidentally fall out during intercourse, during a bowel movement, or while removing a tampon. If the ring falls out of the vagina, rinse it with cool to lukewarm (not hot) water and re-insert as soon as possible, within 3 hours maximum. So, I want to stop here and talk to you for a second. First of all, if anything falls out of my vagina, there's gonna be some problems! Second, let me get this straight. Assuming this falls out of me during a bowel movement, you think that I am going to stick my hand in shitty water (literally) pull out this ring, wash it with something other than Clorox bleach and scorching hot water and then put it back in?! <insert expletive here>, you've lost your damn mind!
  • If you experience urgent/frequent/burning/painful urination and you cannot find the ring in your vagina, tell your doctor immediately. If you know that can happen then why don't you just tell me what it is! And how does the painful urination correlate to the lost ring? Does this mean that Golem has gotten a hold of it and is now using magic to get you to hurt when you pee so as to distract you from the lost ring? It follows up with this doozy: You may have accidentally inserted the ring into your bladder.  I want to be very, very clear with you. If you ever get ANYWHERE NEAR your urethra, trust me when I tell you, that you will know. Who did this? Because if it's in the patient info then it means that some dumbass actually did this. How? I don't get it! And I know I'm judging by calling you a dumbass but, I'm sorry. Having had a catheter placed, I can tell you that this is not something that you do accidentally and not something that you won't know you did.

Now, there's the other boring stuff that you don't care about: may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, stomach cramping/bloating, dizziness, vaginal discomfort/irritation, increased vaginal discharge, or breast tenderness/enlargement may occur. Wait a minute! NuvaRing, I may have just found the reason to keep you around and out of my urethra.