Can NuvaRing cause infertility?

Posted by Rose in Birth Control, Infertility, My Personal Journey on 16-11-2010

Can NuvaRing cause infertility?

I was on NuvaRing for a year and a half, but, what price would I pay for using birth control when it came to my fertility later on?

My husband and I lived apart for the first year and a half of marriage since he is from another country and it would be a year or more until he could come to the US permanently.  We used NuvaRing for birth control while we were ‘just visiting’, because we knew it wasn’t the right time to have a baby.  We decided that when we were finally together, permanently, we’d take the leap and stop the contraceptives.

I was on NuvaRing for a year and a half.  It’s a vaginal ring that gradually releases a low dosage of progestin and estrogen over a 3 week period, and causes a woman not to ovulate.  It was recommended by my gynecologist as a safe method, and it was pretty convenient.  I knew I’d never remember to take a pill daily if I was on a pill form of contraceptive, and other more invasive methods were very unattractive to me – I knew some day in the near future we would want to have a baby, and I didn’t want to take any kind of birth control that might cause complications now or later.

Once my husband and I united for the long-term, we decided to get pregnant!  We were both sure that a new life was going to be conceived as soon as we were together again, since I had been off the ring for 3 months.  Much to our surprise I began my period a few weeks later.  Hmph, we thought, and decided it’d probably happen ‘next month’.  After about 4 rounds of this, we started wondering if something wasn’t quite right, and we did some research online. I remember googling the question, “Why can’t I get pregnant?”

So, can using birth control like NuvaRing cause infertility?

According to the NuvaRing website, when you decide to get pregnant, you ‘just stop using NuvaRing’.  After you stop using it, you may have a period of ‘temporary infertility’ (1). What this means is that the chemicals that are circulating in your body from the use of the ring may take some time to be purged from your body. During that time, naturally, it may be difficult to become pregnant, but there are no long-term effects. Phew!

16 Responses to “Can NuvaRing cause infertility?”

  1. RJ says:

    I’m just curious if you finally had a child? I used the first box of nuva rings that my doctor gave me but I never went back and got any more doses. This was back in 2006 or 2007. I haven’t used any other birth control other than condoms since then. However, I’ve been trying to get pregnant with my boyfriend this year 2011 and well my period just keeps coming. Also, I’ve noticed that my period is irregular. It comes every 26 days instead of 28. I’m concerned now that I’ve saw your message if Nuvaring has caused me to become infertile.

  2. Rose says:

    Rj, if you’re over 35 and have been trying for 6 months or more, you should see your gyn and ask for a referral to a fertility specialist. I wouldn’t worry too much about having your period every 26 days instead of 28 (I don’t think they consider that irregular), but if you’re actively trying to get pregnant without any success it might be a good idea to have some tests done to see if a problem can be identified. I wish I had started sooner – I’m almost ready to write a BabyOver40 blog! I just turned 39, and unfortunately, we still haven’t been able to get pregnant. Everyone is different, though, don’t freak out just yet 🙂 Talk to your doctor and get that ball rolling – time becomes so precious the longer you wait. Best of luck to you!

  3. […] about infertility I was when I first started this trip. So many women read my article asking if Nuvaring causes infertility, and my other article about my HSG experience. Ugh. To think how many of you have gone through the […]

  4. Daria says:

    Hello my name is Daria, and I am 30 years old. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant. I was on the nuva ring for 2 years. It took me 5 months to get my period after stopping the nuva ring. Then it stopped again for another 2 months, so I went on progesterone to get my period, and didnt’ become pregnant. I had an ultrasound to see whats going on, and my ovaries ahve cysts on them. And was diagnosed ith PCOS. I have NEVER had PCOS, or ANY signs of it before. I ahve never had irregular periods before either. I ahve a 3 year old son, and he didnt take much work to try for at all.
    I am still struggling to get pregnant with our second child, and it has been 8 months, since stopping the nuva ring.
    My friend was on the nuva ring, and just stopped like 5 months ago and she is going throught the SAME EXACT thing, no period, cycts, not becomming pregnant, and hasnt EVER had a problem liek this before at all!!!!
    I have a HUGE suspecian that the NUVA RING caused me to become sterile and devlope PCOS. I wonder if we have a small class act here? I am NEVER EVER going on the nuva rign again, nore would I reccommend it! AND for that never birth control again!!!

    • Rose says:

      Daria, thanks for sharing your story. I didn’t develop PCOS, and in fact, started getting my period the first month after I stopped using Nuvaring. I also ovulate very regularly and my levels are within the normal range – some even better than they should be at my age. (‘Everything’ is ‘normal’ which is really frustrating!) Even though I don’t have PCOS, I share your huge suspicion that Nuvaring is somehow responsible for infertility. I have no medical basis for that suspicion, but I can tell you that this post gets a lot of traffic from search engine searches for the question ‘Can nuvaring cause infertility?’ That tells me there are a lot of women like us out there who have used Nuvaring in the past and are fighting infertility now – and searching for answers. The sad thing is, I’m not sure we’ll ever know for sure if it was Nuvaring or if it was just a major coincidence. I also would strongly recommend against using nuvaring, though it seemed to be the right choice at the time, if I knew then what I know now, I am sure we would have found an alternative. I wonder if anyone has been told by their doctor that their is a risk of infertility from using Nuvaring. I certainly didn’t get that warning, unfortunately.

      • amanda says:

        Daria,

        Please look into PCOS. It is actually a disorder caused by an imbalance in hormones. A main underlying problem with PCOS is a hormonal imbalance. In women with PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens than normal. Androgens are male hormones that females also make. High levels of these hormones affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation. It is not caused by the Nuvaring. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 21 and had not one symptom. Intercourse was painful which led to an ultrasound and inevitably a diagnosis. PCOS can be managed by diet and exercise.

        As for causing infertility, after stopping ANY form of birth control, it takes time for the hormones to dissapate in the body. When visiting a fertility clinic, I was told that it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to conceive… longer if you have something like PCOS working against you. You will not conceive immediately… people rarely due. Give it time.

        • Alicia says:

          ihave been on the nuvaring for a few months now and i love it, but my husband read somewhere in one of the instruction things, that it can change the lining of the uterus walls, so that nothing can attach to it. which would make it so that no baby can be created. i told my dr about it and immediatelly changed my form of birth control. my dr. says that she has never hurd of it, but still i dont trust it and im not sure that i would reccomend it. But i did love it because of the short periods, and i didnt have to remember to take it every day. but it gave me really bad cramping. also the cysts, you could have had since you were born, like i did. I had a grape fruit sized cyst on my ovary that i didnt even know about untill 2 years ago when i started having problems, so im not sure that they are caused by nuva ring, but i do what i stated above in the messege, and i hope that all take it into consideration!

          • Rose says:

            Alicia, thanks for your comment – I was especially interested to learn what your husband read about the uterus lining, so I looked it up. I think what he may have read is that it thins the lining – while you’re using it – so that it makes it more difficult for sperm to reach any egg that may have been released if a woman did ovulate while on it (which shouldn’t happen), and also makes it more difficult for an egg that may have been fertilized to implant. I didn’t see anything about long-term effects on the uterus lining, though, and can personally say that it didn’t thin my lining – I have been (literally) told that my lining ‘looks fabulous’ and is definitely thick enough. Usually thinning lining is what older women have trouble with, and that is one of the factors that makes it harder to get pregnant. I just wanted to share that piece of what I know. What I don’t know is whether or not the Nuvaring could have a long-term effect on the uterus lining – I just know it didn’t thin mine after I stopped using it.

    • eden says:

      I am having the same problem was on nearing almost 2 years and had my periods regular while on the nearing stopped taking it didn’t have my period for a year than had it and was the heaviest I have ever had and very painful. Haven’t had my period since my doctor said I don’t have cysts but have high levels of testosterone in my blood and diagnosis me with pcos. I was wondering if the Nuevo ring cause my infertility

  5. Sunny says:

    Hello. I’ve used nuva ring for 2 & half years. I stopped using it 2 months and didn’t get pregnant , so I changed my mind and desided to wait for few months. After I used for 3 days I had bleeding going on so went to clinic and they told me I was pregnant. Since than I bleeding for three weeks .I’m on and off bleeding/ spotting. I had ultra sound but since I’m very early pregnancy they can’t see anything. Just little bulb kind of thing in tube and uterus. My concern is if I hv tube pregnancy how fast they can figure out and I think nuva ring could be cause it? Also I had little cramps but nothing serous pain.

    • Rose says:

      Sunny, I’m so sorry to hear about your experience and stress because of the Nuvaring. Have you told the doctor you’ve been bleeding off and on? From what I understand, it takes about 7 weeks for them to be able to diagnose a tubal pregnancy. I think that if you’re stressed about bleeding you should see another doctor and get a second opinion. Stress alone could cause you problems with your pregnancy. I learned through my experience that no doctor cares about your health (or your baby’s) as much as you do – so you have to keep pushing the doctors for answers until you have one you’re satisfied with. I know you are nervous about it – I would be too. Someone should be able to give you some answers. I absolutely think you should check with another doctor as soon as you can. If for no other reason, so that you can relax and enjoy your pregnancy 🙂 Good luck – let us know how it goes!

  6. Lauren says:

    I was on the NuvaRing for 7 years! Just went off about 9 months ago and have had long, irregular cycles. My husband and I are actively trying to conceive, but it’s difficult when we don’t know exactly when I’m ovulating or when to expect my period.
    The doctor put my on progesterone supplements to start my period 3 months ago, and had one period but have been irregular since then. We are just going to wait it out and hopefully we’ll get our wish soon! Good luck to all.

  7. Krista says:

    I was on Nuvaring for 3 years. Went off, and it was 4 months before my first period. I had such heavy bleeding that I almost had a transfusion twice. After months and months of testing, nearly a year later, I came to find out that I no longer produce the hormones to ovulate on my own, I have to take hormones just to bleed once a month, and chances are that I will have to be on meds to make me ovulate again, and my doctor says they aren’t guaranteed to work at that, and that there’s a good chance getting pregnant will be a difficult process, if not an unlikely one. We shall see what happens, only the future can tell, but I would not wish the after effects of Nuvaring on my worst enemy.

  8. Angela says:

    I was on Nuvaring for 3 years, because my husband and I decided on TTC. I got off it, and had a normal period for the first two months. The third month, I didn’t get a period, so they put me on Provera to bring it back. The fourth fifth, and sixth months I had a “normal” period. The seventh month, I ended up having what they call a “chemical pregnancy” and now here I am at eight months, no baby, still TTC, but more worried about the fact that I have had crazy periods (have been to the doctor probably once a month, and they all keep telling me that I am fine, and that my periods are irregular, and if I don’t conceive by December, which will be 14 months after getting off of birth control, that I am to come back and get tested for infertility issues) umm, okay, that was fine until now. I bled this month for 12 days straight, and I stopped for four days, and here we are again, starting to bleed. Went to the doctor, again, and had to beg for an ultrasound because once again, my periods are “irregular” and it takes time to get off of birth control. Any who, in the conclusion to all of my ranting, it didn’t even come across my mind to think that the Nuvaring could be the culprit for all of these crazy, sad, and “irregular” months. Hopefully any and all of you who are TTC eventually do, or have. It’s sad, and very frustrating. Maybe someday we will all figure out if it truly was the birth control or not.

  9. Sandra says:

    I was using the nuva ring for 2 yrs . I got off it in June of 2013. Been actively trying to conceive since. July 2014 I finally had the 2 pink lines on the test. I miscarried 8 weeks later. I got pregnant July 2015 and miscarried again Sept 2015. Almost 1 yr to the day of the last one. That was the most painful thing I ever went through. My husband and I have been together 10 yr. Im 38 with 2 beautiful teenage daughters. Not sure I will try again but after all I read I do believe it had to do with the nuvaring.

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