NuvaRing and Men

Discussion in 'Contraception' started by Worriedguy, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Worriedguy

    Worriedguy New Member

    Has anyone's Male partner grown breasts yet?

    No studies can be found on the effects of synthetic hormone absorption through the penis, mouth, lips, or gums.

    It seems reasonable to assume that if a penis is contacting a NuvaRing for an hour (or so) a day that some hormonal chemicals would be absorbed.

    I feel like my girfriend's doctor has prescribed a 1/24th does of Progestin and Estrogen for me against my will and cannot even tell me one thing about the possible effects.

    Oddly, I cannot find on the internet where anyone else has even asked this question. Presumably women care and think quite a bit about the effects of their actions on men-- Do you all know something I don't? Please share--

  2. darkeyedgirl

    darkeyedgirl New Member

    I wouldn't really think the amount of hormones in that sort of contraceptive device would really affect you for that little of exposure.

    Did you know that men also naturally secrete 'female' sex hormones themselves? That's why some men grow breasts (when it's in over-abundance).

  3. Worriedguy

    Worriedguy New Member

    Men and women shouldn't risk their health on the opinion you "wouldn't really think the amount of hormones in that sort of contraceptive device would really affect you for that little of exposure."

    Does anyone have facts or studies?

  4. doodlez

    doodlez New Member

    I haven't found any studies, but for the four months I was on Nuvaring my boyfriend didn't grow boobs or anything. Nor did he exhibit any fears of becoming effeminate from my ring, but then again, I don't think he really even considered it. I quit the Nuvaring because it was starting to make me go crazy and have no sex drive!

    I would imagine, based on the biology and human sexuality classes I've taken over the course of my education, that it would require many, many very high doses of female hormones before a man would actually begin to exhibit female traits. Just look at how much hormone therapy some transsexuals have to go through to make their change. Even if you had your penis in contact with a Nuvaring 24/7, I don't think it would be enough to give you breasts.

    As it is, Nuvaring contains the minimum amount of hormones necessary to suppress ovulation in women.

    [FACT]Additionally, hormones in Nuvaring are absorbed via mucous membranes, which line the vaginal walls. In men, the urethra is the only mucous membrane that the hormones might come in contact with - much smaller than the entire interior of a vagina. (This is also probably why women seem to contract STDs such as HIV/AIDS, etc. much easier than men).[/FACT]

    I know it's not the definitive answer you're looking for, but I really don't think it would be an issue.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  5. BethG

    BethG New Member

    lol, it's NuvaRing not a cock ring! LOL. ok, sorry....

    uh, no, my husband did not suffer any ill effects while I was using NuvaRing. No boy boobies. No penis withering. No nut shrinkage.

  6. Worriedguy

    Worriedguy New Member

    Right. Will your husband develop testicular cancer in 5-10 years? We don't know. We didn't bother to do a study on the effects of the NuvaRing on men.

    I'm pretty sure the glans and foreskin are membranous tissue. If the chemicals are in the vaginal secretions and thereupon trapped under the foreskin then the absorption could be substantial if not washed immediately.

    I would not eat 1/2 of a birth control pill every day. How many Viagra should I feed my girlfriend?

  7. doodlez

    doodlez New Member

    Check this out as for mucous membrane info:

    I certainly understand your concern. I got off hormones because they were polluting my body, so I definitely agree that the possibility of problems is not zero. Maybe you can see if she is willing to switch to something like the patch.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  8. BethG

    BethG New Member

    Well if it's that much of a concern, condoms are the way to go for you.

  9. GreenTea

    GreenTea Super Moderator Staff Member

    If you're that worried about your own health, what about your girlfriend's?

    She's getting the full force of those hormones. They're not necessarily any better for women than for men.

    Nobody bothered to do a study on the effects of NuvaRing on women, that longterm, either. The testing that was done was to make sure that they didn't get pregnant and not too many of them complained of side effects, not to determine the effect on their longterm health. The studies only lasted a few years.

    Well, they have studied Viagra in women--and determined that it wasn't so effective, in general, on female sexual dysfunction, but the women didn't experience any worse side effects than men who take it. For that matter, the original Pill was tested in men, as well--and the researchers decided it killed their sex drive too much. (Many women also experience that side effect--just read the posts on this board!--but the powers that be seem to think it's acceptable for women.)

    How does your girlfriend feel about NuvaRing? Does she like it? Does she want to stick with it? Or has she been having any bad side effects? Have you voiced your concerns to her? If you did, what was her response?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  10. Worriedguy

    Worriedguy New Member

    I agree entirely, however, there are 500,000 posts about the effects on women, and some studies have been done on the effect on women. I am horrified to be the ONLY person ever to ask about the effects on men.

    Can you grant me this one small voice? Before shouting me down?

    I'm sure you know a man is not allowed to comment on a woman's birth control. She went in for the Depo and while there she mentioned I recommended it, so guess what, she got a half hour lecture on how listening to a man's opinion is equivalent to submitting to a tyrant-- or de-facto abuse by a "control freak."

    Not unlike when a man voices his concern-- he gets instantly reminded it's nothing compared to all the chemicals in "her" body, and the snotty suggestion that he is only concerned about himself and not her.

    Or you get a crude suggestion to just use condoms by some careless party. --I don't see how using condoms, and thereby subjecting my girlfriend to a 30% failure rate is good for her.

    So I don't comment at all.

    Thanks all, for your compassion, assistance, and empathy. Don't expect to be offered my seat in the lifeboat. It's every man for himself these days, I suppose.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  11. BethG

    BethG New Member

    Suggesting condoms wasn't crude. It's simply another method of contraception that protects both of you, something no other method offers. And failure rate of 30%? Sounds awfully high to me. I usually hear 97% effective when used correctly.

    Contraception Effective/Failure Rates

    You certainly are allowed to be informed about your girlfriend's birth control choices. Most men aren't so I applaud you for wanting to be informed. I'm not sure who's doing the yelling ....girlfriend or doctor. Regardless, sounds the person needs an attitude adjustment.

  12. desertgirl

    desertgirl Active Member

    There's certainly nothing crude about suggesting the use of a condom. Besides, if you are concerned both about pregnancy and hormones affecting you, why not use a condom while your girlfriend stays on the ring? She'll be protected from pregnancy, and you'll be protected from the ring's hormones.

  13. doodlez

    doodlez New Member

    I don't think anyone here is trying to shut you down or make crude comments at all. We're relatively light-hearted around here, save for when we are b!tching about how the pill screws us up. But anyway.

    Out of curiosity, why Depo? Why did you suggest this to your girlfriend over the pill or patch? From reading this board and knowing a few women on Depo, it seems to be one of the worst as far as side effects go.

    I also don't see how condoms are a crude suggestion. I got off the pill/ring last April. After 4 years of not using condoms, we are back to them. Believe me, we don't love condoms at all, but I think they are a reliable contraceptive if used consistently and correctly (a silly as it sounds, I have a feeling some people don't necessarily know how to properly use them to prevent the possibility of failure). Because I am also paranoid and cannot get pregnant, I am starting to combine our condom use with the Fertility Awareness Method, to be extra careful during the fertile phase of my cycle. I've also contemplated using the sponge in conjunction to ease any fears of condom failure. What about an IUD? There are many options out there.

    Anyway, I think you should discuss your concerns with your girlfriend. I know if my boyfriend had come to me with the same concern I would have gone off the ring right away. As it was, I only used it for four months because it started giving me mood swings/depression and killed my already Pill-slain sex drive even further.

  14. GreenTea

    GreenTea Super Moderator Staff Member

    No offense, Worriedguy, but you are coming across as concerned about yourself, not your girlfriend. If that's not true, then it's a matter of how you're communicating it. My intention was not to shout you down, but to point that out.

    I have a hard time believing the doctor or NP really said that listening to a man's opinion is equivalent to submitting to a tyrant. Sure, I wasn't there so I wouldn't know, but here's the picture I'm getting from this:

    Worriedguy's girlfriend goes to her doctor or a birth control clinic and says she would like to go on Depo. Doctor or NP asks the usual questions about her medical history and reasons for wanting to go on it. Girlfriend's main reason is that her boyfriend thinks it's the most convenient. (Perhaps she herself has a few concerns about it, but she's brushing them off in deference to his opinion [she may or may not have expressed those concerns to him].)

    Doctor says something like, you don't know how you'll react to the shot, it's been known to have the worst side effects of any birth control method, and if you get the shot, you'll be stuck with the side effects until it wears off. How about Nuva Ring instead? Similar low dose of hormones, you don't have to take a pill every day, side effects aren't likely to be as bad, and if you don't like it you can stop using it anytime.

    Doctor may also have said something like, if you decide what to put in your body based on what your boyfriend thinks, but you're not comfortable with it yourself, then you're submitting to a tyrant/control freak. (And if Worriedguy communicates with his girlfriend the way he's been communicating with us--again, no offense, Worriedguy, but you do come across that way--he would seem to be a control freak).

    If your girlfriend wants to continue using NuvaRing, the condoms are to protect you. If they can keep you from catching an STD, surely they can keep the hormones out?
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  15. Firefly

    Firefly New Member

    You suggested the Depo shot????!!!!

    Were you ever on the depo worriedguy to know it was the best option for her.NO!

  16. ChooseToBe

    ChooseToBe New Member

    No, but I do get a little cranky every 28 days.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2013

  17. Juicy-Juls

    Juicy-Juls Active Member

    Sorry but no one has been rude or shouted and well, I think the original post is halariously funny.....

  18. MyrtleWarbler

    MyrtleWarbler Super Moderator Staff Member

    I basically agree with what has been posted and suggested so far, but if it's published material you want, here's where to start looking...

    Alexander et al published an article in Fertility and Sterility (2004; 82(1):1-12) called "Why consider vaginal drug administration". I don't have access to full text, but from what I glean from search result previews, Ansbacher questioned the exact issue you are raising in a published comment on the Alexander et al article (Fertility and Sterility 82(5):1474). Alexander's reply to the comment was published as well (same issue I belive), and claims that Oragnon calculated the exposure men would have, and also references the differences in epithelium of the penis vs vagina that have been eluded to in the replies here, apparantly to make the same point. At any rate, Ansbacher is with the Univ of Michigan Medical Center, so you could track him/her down and request more information on their concern, and/or a reprint of the material I'm referencing. Authors are usually pretty receptive to requests like that. Or, if you have access to a university library, look for that journal, specifically 2004.

    Oragnon themselves acknowledge that no studies have been done (LINK; pg 8) but the calculations surely would be based on some pharmacological and physiological science that isn't exactly worthless.

    So, you aren't the first person to raise the question, but clearly it hasn't been raised enough to result in any studies. You ought to contact Oragnon for more information and express your concerns, and contact Ansbacher as well. Maybe they will share more details that will help, since you don't seem satisfied with the opinions shared here. You must realize that a discussion forum isn't the best place to complain about a lack of science that can't be remedied here, and then shoot down the opinions of people willing to at least give the subject some thought.

  19. GreenTea

    GreenTea Super Moderator Staff Member

    Myrtle... I hope Worriedguy sees your post! That's the best one so far... most informative, most levelheaded, and the only one that really answers his question. Thank you for bringing this thread to a saner level.

  20. firedancer

    firedancer New Member

    I stopped using the Nuvaring because I thought my man was developing in areas that made me worry (MOOBS). He also smokes and because it is so dangerous to smoke and take birth control I worry about his future.
    So I called the Nuvaring # and asked if they have done tests on side effects of men and they said NO. That scared me so I immediately removed the ring and i tell everyone I know ABOUT MY WORRIES.

    My boyfriend since I stopped the Nuvaring has lost what he called I advise people to read a little closer into your concern.


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