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The Vaginal Ring: Is It Right for You?

The world of birth control doesn’t lack for options, which can make choosing the right one for your health, your lifestyle, and your goals a little difficult.

At Associates in Obstetrics & Gynecology in Colorado Springs, Colorado, our team of gynecologic experts wants to help you make an informed decision when it comes to family planning, which is why we’ve pulled together the following information about the vaginal ring.

Understanding the main types of birth control

When it comes to preventing an unwanted pregnancy, there are several general ways you can go about it using barrier methods, natural methods, or hormonal methods.

Barrier

This type of birth control forms a barrier that prevents sperm from reaching and fertilizing, your eggs. Included in this category are condoms, sponges, intrauterine devices, diaphragms, and cervical caps.

Natural

If you’d prefer a more natural approach to birth control, you can try fertility awareness, outercourse, or abstinence.

Hormonal

By regulating your hormone levels, we can better control your ovulation to prevent pregnancy. Hormonal methods include the birth control pill, IUD, implant, patch, injection, or vaginal ring.

Of course, there are surgical options that deliver a more permanent solution, including tubal ligation and a vasectomy.

Vaginal rings

A vaginal ring is a small ring that you insert into your vagina where it slowly releases progestin and estrogen into your system to control ovulation. After each period, you insert the ring and leave it in until your next period, at which point you remove the ring. The cycle continues as you insert a new ring again after your period.

There are many advantages to this type of birth control, including:

In addition to these benefits, by turning to a hormonal solution for your family planning needs, you may be able to offset painful cramps, bone loss, and acne.

The drawbacks to a vaginal ring are minor, but the most important one we’d like to point out is that this birth control method is only as effective as your use of it. For example, it’s important that you time the insertion correctly, because if you miss the window, you’re at risk for becoming pregnant.

It’s also important to note that this type of birth control doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases — only abstinence and condoms are effective in this regard.

In order to get started with a vaginal ring, you’ll need to come see us for a prescription, as these are not sold over the counter. This visit also gives us the opportunity to review your health and your goals so that we can determine  together whether a vaginal ring is right for you.

To learn more about vaginal rings, please contact our office to set up an appointment.

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