Vaginal Ring Used As Birth Control

Birth Control Vaginal Ring

Table Of Contents

What is a Birth Control Vaginal Ring?

A birth control vaginal ring, commonly known as NuvaRing (brand), is a small flexible ring that a women inserts into her vagina once a month. It is placed in the vagina for the three week period and is taken out for the last week of each month.

How Does the Vaginal Ring Prevent Pregnancy?

Just like other various birth control methods, the ring releases hormones such as estrogen and progestin. The ring works by:

  • Making cervical mucus thicker in a woman which doesn’t allows sperm from getting into the eggs
  • Allowing eggs not to join the sperm by keeping eggs in the ovaries

What Are the Benefits?

The ring is continent, simple and safe. There isn’t anything you have to do before intercourse which some woman say make them feel more spontaneous. Many women who use the ring have lighter, regular and shorter periods. When the ring is stopped being used, pregnancy returns quickly.

Considering the ring is identically to the birth control pill, it has the same health benefits and protect against:

  • Acne
  • Premenstrual symptoms (headaches/depression)
  • Infection of ovaries, uterus and tubes
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Irregular/heavy periods
  • Iron definecny anemia
  • Ovarian and endometrial cancers
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Cysts in ovaries and breasts
  • Breast growths (not cancer)
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Bone thinning

The ring can also be used to control how often and when you have your period. If it is used on a continuous period (no monthly breaks) it can eliminate periods.

What Are the Disadvantages?

Some of the undesirable side effects while using NuvaRing are easily adjusted with a few to no problems. Some of these side effects include:

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Breast tenderness

Talk to your health care professional if you experience any side effects. NuvaRing may cause long-lasting side effects which include:

  • Vaginal irritation
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Infection

If these problems do occur within the first three months and cause you to feel sick and ill, talk to a health care professional to look at other birth control methods.

After the ring is stopped being used, it will take 1-2 months before a women’s normal periods to return to its original cycle. This may go on for 6 months until it is back to normal. This is more likely to happen to women who had irregular periods before the use of the ring.

The use of oil-based medicines to help yeast infections may increase hormone levels to the body. This will not reduce the effectiveness of the ring but long-term exposure of both oil-based medicines and NuvaRing hormone levels is unknown. If you do require long-term protection against yeast infection, please consult with your health care professional.

Since NuvaRing uses estrogen, it does come with serious problems that might occur from people who do not use birth control measures without estrogen. These cases are usually rate but include blood clots in the legs, heart, lung or brain, heart attack and stroke.

The risks of having liver tumors, high blood pressure, gallstones, and yellow of the eyes or skin increase if you are:

  • 35 years or older
  • Very overweight
  • Inherited blood-clotting disorders (certain)
  • Diabetes
  • High chelosterial
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoke
  • Prolonged bed rest

Some of the serious problem s have warning signs that should be reported to your health professional immediately. Some of these include:

  • No period after having a period every month
  • Headaches (worse than usual and/or more frequent)
  • Bad pain in chest or abdomen
  • Achy soreness in the leg
  • Sudden headaches (bad and long lasting)
  • New lump in your breasts
  • Trouble breathing
  • Yellowing of eyes and skin
  • Seeing flashing zigzag lines or bright things (aura) before bad headache

How Effective is the Vaginal Ring?

The NuvaRing is very effective when the woman keeps it insert and in place for the three week duration and remove it for the one week duration. This allows keeping the correct level of hormones in the body.

  • If you use the NuvaRing as directed, less than 1 out of 100 women get pregnant each year
  • If you do not use the NuvaRing as directed, about 9 out of 100 women get pregnant each year

Supplements and certain medicines will lessen the effectiveness of NuvaRing. Some of these medicines include:

  • Anti-seizure medicines
  • HIV medicines
  • Antifungal griseofulvin
  • St. John’s wort
  • Antibiotics (rifampin and others)

Always keep in mind that the NuvaRing just like other birth control method and does not protect against STIs. The use of a condom is recommended to reduce the risk of infection.

How Safe is the Vaginal Ring?

NuvaRing is safe to use for most women but might depend on certain conditions. Talk to your health care professional to find out if the NuvaRing is right for you. You should not be using the NuvaRing during prolonged best rest or if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • Smoke and are 35 years or older
  • Smoke and have high blood pressure
  • Complications after organ transplant
  • Need to stay in bed for long period of time
  • Diabetes for longer than 20 years (or bad diabetes)
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Serious liver cancer or disease
  • Lupus (certain conditions)
  • Heart valve problems (serious)
  • Heart attack, angina, stroke or serious heart problems
  • Treated for blood clots or vein inflammation
  • Migraines with Aura

How do I use the Vaginal Ring?

Most women find the NuvaRing easy to use. Insert a new ring into your vagina and keep it in place for three weeks in a row. After the third week, take it out and insert a new ring after a week. Some more specific details include:

  • Keeping the rings in room temperate and out of direct sunlight
  • Checking expiration date on packages
  • Washing hands with soap and water

While inserting the ring

  • Use your fingers to press the sides of the ring together
  • Push the ring gently into your vagina – the exact position doesn’t matter

While removing the ring

  • Gently push the ring out of your vagina
  • Use the original packaging to dispose of the ring and throw it in the garbage. Do not flush the rings since it may contain hormones which can get into the soil and water supply.

If the NuvaRing slips out of your vagina within 48 hours

  • Wash the ring with cool water/lukewarm and put it back in your vagina
  • If it has been longer than 48 hours, use a backup method for the next seven days

If you forget to remove the NuvaRing for longer duration

  • Longer than one month
    • Remove the ring
    • If you have had vaginal intercourse, you may be pregnant and want to take a pregnancy test
    • Reset with a new ring and use another birth control method for seven days
  • Up to one month
    • Remove ring
    • Use ring-free week
    • Insert ring after ring-free week
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