Is a Vaginal Ring Right for Me?

Pills, patches, on-the-spot protection — these are just a few of the many ways that you can prevent an unplanned pregnancy. In fact, the range of choices is so large that choosing the right contraceptive for you can be confusing.

To help you make an educated choice when it comes to family planning, our team here at Associates in Obstetrics & Gynecology wants to highlight one of the more effective options — vaginal rings.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of a vaginal ring so you can better decide whether this birth control choice is right for you.

Vaginal ring — a hormonal approach to birth control

Birth control methods can largely be divided into three categories:

  1. Barrier
  2. Hormonal
  3. Natural

With a hormonal approach, we use reproductive hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone, to regulate your ovulation — ostensibly preventing your ovaries from releasing eggs.

The ring is the mechanism through which we deliver the hormones — you simply insert it into your vagina for 3-5 weeks.

Not only does a vaginal ring prevent an unplanned pregnancy through hormonal control, it can also serve a barrier function, as the hormones may thicken the mucus around your cervix, which prevents sperm from getting through.

Types of vaginal rings

There are two types of vaginal rings that are approved by the FDA:

NuvaRing®

NuvaRing is a small, flexible device that you insert into your vagina according to instructions. You keep the ring in place for three weeks, at which point you remove it for a week and then replace it with a new ring.

Annovera®

The Annovera vaginal ring works in much the same way that the NuvaRing works, except you don’t need new rings with every cycle. The Annovera ring is good for 13 menstrual cycles, which is about a year.

Both rings offer 97-99% protection.

Determining whether you’re a candidate for a vaginal ring 

Choosing the right birth control option for your lifestyle and goals is a personal choice. Still, we can offer you a few points to consider.

There are many advantages to using a vaginal ring for birth control, including:

There are some instances in which you shouldn’t consider a vaginal ring for birth control, such as if you’re over 35 and a smoker. As well, if you have any pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or blood-clotting issues, we may advise against a vaginal ring. 

If you’d like to explore whether a vaginal ring is right for you, our first step is to get together so we can discuss your health and your goals. To get started, contact our office in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to set up an appointment.

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