Contraceptive ring and oral pleasuring: Will the hormones affect oral sex giver?

Originally Published: November 21, 2003
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Hey Alice,

I currently use NuvaRing for contraception. Because the ring slowly emits hormones into the body via the vagina, my partner and I are wondering whether he will have an unhealthy amount of contact with these hormones during oral sex. Thanks.

Dear Reader,

Great question.

NuvaRing, the new contraceptive ring that is placed in a woman's vagina, surrounding the cervix, emits the hormones estrogen and progestin. According to a drug information specialist at Organon, the ring's manufacturer, it is safe for someone to orally pleasure a woman who is using this form of birth control.

In the vagina, the contraceptive ring releases hormones based on body temperature changes. These hormones are absorbed by the vaginal walls, which allow them to enter the bloodstream. In this way, the ring steadily releases a low dose of hormones, causing fewer, hormone-related adverse effects for users — less than what's experienced from using the birth control pill or contraceptive patch.

As a result, the oral sex "giver" has minimal contact with hormones — certainly not enough to cause any negative physiological effects.

Alice