What is it?
The vaginal ring is a thin, flexible, plastic ring that is worn inside the vagina to prevent pregnancy. It is sometimes referred to by its brand name, NuvaRing. It comes in one size that works for most. The ring has two hormones in it. The hormones, estrogen and progestin, are released through the vagina into the body. The ring keeps the eggs from leaving the ovaries and makes it harder for sperm to fertilize the eggs.
A new ring is inserted monthly and left in place for three weeks. The ring is then removed at the beginning of the fourth week. This will trigger a period for most.
What are some advantages?
- The ring is very (92-99%) effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly.
- It is convenient, private and easy to use.
- It can make periods more regular and less painful.
What are some disadvantages?
- Does not protect against STDs so you must use a condom every time you have sex.
- You have to remember to insert and change it on the correct schedule.
- The vaginal ring may cause irregular bleeding.
- Some people may not like inserting the ring into their vagina (it is similar to using a tampon).
- It may have other side effects and risks, which your healthcare provider will discuss.
Where and how do you get it?
Only your healthcare provider can help you decide if the vaginal ring is right for you. If it is, your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to use it correctly and give you a prescription for the ring. You might have the prescription filled at a pharmacy or you may get it at the clinic.