Medical Mondays: Why I Do and Do Not Like the Nuva Ring (birth control)

Here’s the breakdown according to my experiences:


  1. Regular periods
  2. Convenience of only dealing with it once every three weeks
  3. No side effects 
  4. Availability
  5. I can take it out myself without the aid of a doctor
  6. Easy in, easy out
  7. Low dose of hormones


  1. Price (try $100 a month)
  2. Price (insurance hardly covers this thing!)
  3. Price (Every month!)
  4. I can take it out myself, which means it does not sit that far back and can be ‘felt’
  5. Did I mention the price?

I’ve had an overwhelmingly positive experience thus far with the nuva ring. The worst part about it is that it is so pricey and my current insurance does not cover much of that price and the entire price goes towards a monster deductible i.e. I will be paying full price for most months out of the year at a whopping approximate $295 for a three pack.

Con: Pricing is everything nowadays and this thing is not cheap. It is so not cheap that I wonder if anyone is really using it… Who has this kind of money? Or do I just have the wrong kind of insurance? Now that a multitude of birth control is offered for free, why would anyone choose to pay $100 a month for the nuva ring?

Pro: No side effects. Repeat, no side effects. When I was on no birth control, the Mirena, and oral birth control I experienced a wide and wild variety of side effects during, before, and after my period. Basically, some days I was a mess. I got cramping, headaches, nausea, 2 week long periods, 2 day long periods, heavy heavy periods, bloating, extreme carb and sugar cravings, etc.
     The nuva ring has given me no side effects other than actually bleeding. But hey guess what, I only have a three day period. Every time.

Pro: Regular periods. I know when it’s going to happen. My entire post-puberty life has been spent without knowing when I would get my period. And I was wildly irregular. Not that I’m weird or anything but I have a list of all the dates when I got my periods and so can do some statistics. Here are some results for you: the range was 10 – 91 days between periods. The mean was 40 days between periods. Sometimes our bodies are great indications for how much stress or changes is in our lives.

Pro: I don’t have to worry about forgetting to take my birth control as much as with oral birth control because I only have to worry about taking it out every four weeks and putting it back in. I have this scheduled on my calendar so I won’t forget and I have all day on the Sunday to take out or put in. It’s easy! You’ll notice I said every four weeks and not the standard three because, as I mentioned earlier, my average time between periods was 40 days and so I thought my body was more used to a longer time than 21 days between periods.

Pro: I also don’t have to worry about going to the doctor to take it out like I did with the Mirena. Also, if it’s TEOTWAWKI (Sh*t hits the fan I’ll be able to take out my birth control when it “expires”).

Pro: The nuva ring is also a lower dose of estrogen, the hormone typically blamed for side effects. I take to heart the phrase: ‘moderation is key’.

Con: This is one I didn’t realize might be an issue. Because you can take out the nuva ring yourself, it can be felt by anything the length of my longest finger (3″ or so), I guess due to placement and size. After some basic research, this may mean I have not put it in the right place! 

Medical Mondays: Lasik and the 20/20 vision

Since I did a project in high school about laser eye surgery aka Lasik, I have wanted to perfect my own vision. There are only a few things I wish I could change about myself and unlike my current height, it is relatively safe and relatively easy to perfect my vision. I decided to go for it while I still have the cash availability. Your welcome 5, 10, 20, 30 years from now me.

More information on the procedure and how it went to come in future bloggings…

Does this mean I have to update my license?

Medical Mondays: Hospital Smartphone App with Personal Map

Have you ever gotten lost in a hospital?

Some of them are so large and convoluted, they would make for an excellent relay race location. Seriously, you can go round and round in them.

I propose a new app for smartphones that has maps for hospitals, where you can input your destination (surgery center for example) and they will direct you. Even better would be a holographic/HUD type display that projected outward from the phone to lead you in the right direction. Or perhaps hospitals could employ color coded floor lines (a la Ender’s Game) for common destinations in their building.

Please make this happen!

Also, parking garages could use them. I’m tired of getting lost in those. Or if they could have directions to the nearest open spot, that would be great.

Medical Mondays: Allergy Testing

Needles, right?

Not quite.

I recently went through some allergy testing and it wasn’t that bad.

Gasp! How can that be! Needles. Long, thick, prickly, itchiness.

You’ve got it wrong.

It’s just a little prick, a scratch to just break the surface of the skin and then the substance you are testing for is injected on top of the scratch and permeates under the skin. Granted, if you are allergic, the skin will turn red and get itchy, but no more than a fire ant bite or mosquito bite. It’s not that bad, honestly. Note, they even have some anti-itch cream they will give you.

That’s the first test, the second test goes a little deeper and is a bit more intense but again it is only a mild prick of the skin and a little injection just under the skin. If you don’t watch, it won’t bother you much at all. For me, it’s more the idea of what they are doing then how it actually feels:

Scariness of the doctor = actual pain/imagined pain X seeing needles X scary things your body doesn’t normally do.

 So if you don’t see the needles or what weird things they are doing to you, the scariness factor of the visit should go down. The imagined pain should go down as well if you won’t watch because scary things look more painful than they really are and you might psych yourself up to higher degree of felt pain if you see what’s going on. My technique is to let them do a few and get used to how it feels and my reaction and then see what they are doing so that the process is demystified for me.

How do you cope with needles?