I am currently on the Nuvaring. I have been on it for 10 days, but my partner and I had unprotected intercourse yesterday…

…Although he never ejaculated, there might have been pre-cum. I was wondering what my chances are of pregnancy and if I should take a pregnancy test?

Great question! Let’s start by talking about what the birth control ring (or Nuvaring) is.

The birth control ring, or Nuvaring, is a hormonal birth control method used to effectively prevent pregnancy. The hormones prevent ovulation – the process when the ovaries release an egg – and thicken cervical mucus.

With that being said, the Nuvaring will be 92-99% effective in preventing pregnancy. When someone is using the ring as their birth control, they will only have to worry about taking it once a month! To use the Nuvaring, someone will take the ring and insert it into the vagina. Once the ring is in place, that’s where it will stay for three weeks. Once the third week is up, that person will remove the ring and leave it out for 1 week. At that time, that person will have their period. After that fourth week is up, a new ring will be inserted, starting the process over again.

Now that we’ve discussed what the ring is and how to use it, let’s talk about when it becomes effective!

When someone starts a new hormonal method of birth control (like the ring), they need to use a back up method (like condoms or practicing abstinence) for one week before that method will be effective. After that first week, the hormones will be integrated into the body and can help prevent pregnancy up to 99% when taken correctly.

Because you had been using the Nuvaring continuously for 10 days before having unprotected sex, you will be 92-99% protected from pregnancy. After that initial week of starting a new hormonal method of birth control, if you are using the method correctly, you can be up to 99% protected from pregnancy.

Although pre-ejaculate (or pre-cum) does not contain sperm when it is produced, it can pick up leftover sperm in the urethra. This means that pre-ejaculate can contain sperm when it leaves the body, creating a risk for pregnancy.  Because you had been on your Nuvaring, your risk of pregnancy from pre-cum is very, very low.

But because pre-ejaculate can also transmit STIs, it’s a great idea to consider condoms  and dental dams when you’re engaging in sexual activities. If used correctly and consistently, condoms can help reduce someone’s chances of contracting an STI. Using a hormonal method of birth control and using condoms at the same time will also increase someone’s chances of preventing unplanned pregnancy. Teen Clinic offers free condoms and dental dams.

Give us a call if you have more questions! 303-442-5160.