The Vaginal Ring
- What is it?
- Are there different types?
- How does it work?
- How effective is it?
- How can I find out more?
The Vaginal Ring is a plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina that releases artificial hormones.
No. The vaginal ring is commonly referred to by its brand name, NuvaRing®.
The vaginal ring works by releasing artificial hormones that stop the ovaries from releasing eggs. In addition, the hormones in the ring thicken the mucus in the cervix (the opening of the womb), making it hard for sperm to enter the womb. You can get vaginal rings through a prescription provided by a health care provider.
One ring is inserted into the vagina per cycle and remains in place continuously for 3 weeks, followed by a ring-free week. Use of the ring can be started at any time during the menstrual cycle. For continuous-use contraception, you can change the ring every 4 weeks without taking a 1-week break.
With perfect use, it is 99% effective. With typical use, it is 91% effective.
- Few serious problems for young women.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Does not interfere with sex.
- Less cramping and bleeding during your period.
- Very small chance of blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.
- May cause high blood pressure.
- May cause weight changes, spotting, and moodiness.
- Not ideal to be used while breastfeeding.
- May not be a good method for women over the age of 35 who also smoke.
- Does not provide protection from HIV/STDs.
To find out more about the vaginal ring, please call the Scotland County Health Department at (910) 277-2440 to talk with a healthcare professional and to make an appointment.