Just as the Pill, the vaginal ring is a method of contraception that involves hormones. The soft plastic ring has a diameter of 54 mm. It is inserted into the vagina like a tampon, where it continuously releases hormones. The vaginal ring is removed after 21 days. This is followed by a seven-day break, during which normally menstruation occurs. The next vaginal ring can be used after seven days.
If you forget to remove the vaginal ring after 21 days, it releases sufficient hormones for up to seven days, long enough to ensure contraceptive safety.
The principal effect of the vaginal ring is the prevention of monthly ovulation. The effect unfolds through the hormones that are released by the vaginal ring and enter the blood via the vagina. The vaginal ring contains the same hormones that are used in the combination pill, namely ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen) and a metabolic product of desogestrel (a progestin).
You do not have to think about the contraceptive method every day, only do the needful twice a month (inserting and removing). Safe method.
The vaginal ring also offers contraceptive safety to women who suffer from gastrointestinal problems, frequent vomiting or diarrhoea.
It has side effects and limitations similar to that of the combination pill.
Some women find it tedious to think about removing and reinserting the vaginal ring at the given times.
In very rare cases, the vaginal ring may slip out of the vagina (during sexual intercourse or removal of a tampon, for instance). It should then be washed with lukewarm water and reused immediately.
In some cases, the vaginal ring itself can cause vaginal irritation and discharge.
The contraceptive safety corresponds roughly to the safety of the pill. If used correctly, both methods have a failure rate of less than 1%.
The vaginal ring must be prescribed by a doctor.
It costs approx. 48 Euro for three months.
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