You should always put your Nuvaring in the fridge — and the reason why makes total sense

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The right form of birth control is personal and individualized. Just because your sister swears by the pill doesn't mean that the ring isn't the best choice for you. But if you're going to use the ring, which is slightly more complicated than some of the other forms, you need to know how to use it correctly.

"The ring is one of those methods that isn't completely intuitive," Dr. Katharine O'Connell White, MD, MPH, OB-GYN and an assistant professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University Medical Center, told INSIDER.

Because it's not something that most people just inherently understand, getting the right information is important. If you've ever considered using the ring, you might have heard something about storing it in the refrigerator, but you might not understand the details.

"So all drugs and devices come with a temperature range from the manufacturer, which represents the range at which they know their products are stable and effective," O'Connell White said. Outside of that range, there are a lot of unknowns.

"When it comes to the NuvaRing, it's not so much the one ring that you fill at the pharmacy that has to go in the fridge, it's that if you are lucky enough to get multiple rings at once, you want to put the spares in the crisper — or wherever in your fridge," she added.

There's no need to put just the one that you're going to use right away in the refrigerator.

"While there is no definitive information about why, it makes common sense that the medication might not be as effective if sorted otherwise, particularly in direct sunlight," Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MS, MD, FACOG, an OB-GYN, told INSIDER. "In other words, leaving your NuvaRing in the hot car while you're at work or at the beach is ill-advised."

Once you're ready to change the ring and are going to insert one that has been sitting in the refrigerator for awhile, you'll probably want to let it warm up a bit before using, if only for the sake of comfort. O'Connell White recommended letting the ring sit out at room temperature for a few hours or so before inserting it.

However, if you forget or don't want to do that, there isn't really any reason why you can't use a chilled ring.

"It's amazing how fast 98.6 degrees is gonna thaw that sucker, if you were to put it in cold," O'Connell White said. "That ring's going to warm up very quickly to the temperature of your body, but it will be really frosty until it happens, so I think in an ideal world you take it out a little bit before you need to use it."

And because there are times when you remove the ring, like before you have sex, it's important to remember that the ring can be out of your body for up to three hours without any concerns.

"That three-hour rule has to do with the risk of hormones starting to cycle again and the risk of ovulation, it's not because the ring itself can only be out for three hours," O'Connell White said. "So you do not need to throw the ring in the fridge when you have sex."

Leaving the ring out at room temperature while you're having sex is completely fine. Just make sure that it's not out of your body for longer than those three hours that your body allow.

And make sure that if you ever have more than one birth control ring in your possession at once, that the extras are kept in the refrigerator.

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