June 09, 2008

nuva-ringAntoinette: "The ring is more comfortable than wearing a tampon."(SANDY HUFFAKER/GETTY)Antoinette, a 30-year-old New Yorker, had been on birth control pills for more than five years when she switched to the NuvaRing in 2006. "I had heard really positive things about it and liked the idea of not having to take something every day," she says. "It just seemed more convenient. And it has been. I love it so much more than the Pill."

Her only complaint is that her monthly NuvaRing insurance co-pay is a little more expensive than it was when she took the Pill because the ring isn't available yet in a generic version.

The convenience more than makes up for that, says Antoinette—especially if you travel a lot. "If you go on vacation and your pill pack is about to end and you forget another one, you have to go without. You don't need to worry about things like that with the ring," she says—even if you're away for a month. "It says on the package that you can leave it in for 21 days but my doctor said you can actually keep it in for up to 28 days." (The NuvaRing's manufacturer advises taking a one-week break from the ring before inserting a new one if it has been left in for up to one extra week.)

More about the ring

Some women find the ring a little tricky to insert and remove, but Antoinette has had no problems. "I used to worry a bit at first that it might fall out," she says, "but that never happened. It's actually more comfortable than wearing a tampon and very easy to forget that it's even in there."

Boyfriends have told her that they can feel it, however. "I have heard men who I've been with say that they feel it, but they don't know what it is until I tell them," she says. "One guy thought it was a piercing, which disturbed me—just his lack of understanding about the female body."

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