The Sexist

How the NuvaRing Stops Babies


In my research on hilarious misconceptions about birth control, the NuvaRing proved to be one of the most misunderstood options. My theory: Unlike other methods of female birth control, men are actually forced to come in contact with the NuvaRing (through their penises!), at which point they are prompted to verbalize their confusion.

And so, in order to foster understanding of this birth control method, I spent a little bit of time at work today sketching a vagina in Microsoft Paint. Since some public information about the vaginal ring can be perplexing:

The birth control pill is like synchronized swimming, whereas the NuvaRing is like socializing in a hot tub. There are more bikinis in the hot tub!

. . . Perhaps this chart will help to fill in some of the blanks. Or maybe your sex partner will just wonder how you got yourself that radioactive vagina. Either way, print a copy and bring it with you on a night out!

  • Jess

    I asked my husband about how he thought some of these birth control options worked, and he said "Nuva Ring makes you strip off some of your synchronized swimming swimsuit and bathing cap and get into a hot tub with a bunch of other hot women turning you into a lesbian, thereby preventing pregnancy. I think."

  • Katie

    @Jess - hahahahahaha that's amazing.

  • amy

    I would suggest a "best interpretation on how birth control works by a man" contest in which someone wins a book, but I think Jess already won.

  • Jess

    He actually really didn't know how it worked ("I assume it does something to your cervix"), but he got the pill and the morning after pill right off the bat. I was very proud. (Also the diaphragm, which he said was "just fluid dynamics" -- his area of research. I think scientists may be well-primed to understand birth control.)

  • PA

    Not the only one! My hormonal IUD has strings, and um, yes, there's contact there too.

    I try not to think about it too much. Entanglement fantasies are either hilarious or terrifying, but will kill the mood in any case.

  • groggette

    I really loved the Nuvaring just for the convenience factor, but that thing messed with my body hellaciously, in a way the pill never did. Not wanting to have sex because your libido flatlined, you have constant migraines, and your depression exploded isn't my idea of effective birth control.
    Then I just decided to get myself fixed so I don't have to worry about hormones or a monthly cost anymore :)

  • Meghan

    $30 a month? I'm jealous. I was paying $55 and then my pharmacist told me it was going up, so I switched, which didn't help because I had the same effects as groggette, but AFTER I was off it. Oh well... rite?

    I did get a funny story out of it. One night the nuvaring came out around my guy's penis... he thought it was a sex toy! He pulled it off, held it up like a trophy and winked at me, and said "so, what does this do?" Of course, I had to tell him "it keeps me from having babies." He handed it back to me, seriously grossed out.

    I will say, some guys are clueless about BC, but my current boyfriend follows my cycles better than I do. Comes in kind of handy since I'm forgetful!

  • Amanda Hess


    Mine used to be $60, but then my insurance switched and the cost went down. When it was more expensive, I would go and get it from Planned Parenthood. Much cheaper! I recommend!

  • Anne

    One time I told a guy I was about to have sex with that he might feel something because I had a Nuvaring in there. His aroused response: "You're so crazy." He thought it was some sort of piercing (or perhaps sex toy, as in Meghan's story).

  • rebekah manning

    I was dating a guy one time who thought the pill worked by making your ovaries shrivel up and die. When I went on the Nuva ring he asked if it worked by attaching to his penis right before ejaculation to keep him from cumming. I still do not know what I was thinking dating this guy

  • Foxy One

    Hrm I pay 25 for a 3 month supply of the NuvaRing. I love it but it can get a little inconvienent if you have a lot of sex. Pills made me so wacky emotionally that I was an uber bitch.