What is Vaginal Ring
The contraceptive vaginal ring or Birth Control Ring (for Teens) is a soft, flexible ring about 2 inches (5 centimeters) in diameter. It is placed in the vagina, from where it slowly releases hormones — chemicals the body produces to control organ function — through the walls of the vagina and into the bloodstream. The hormones in the vaginal ring work on the ovaries and uterus to prevent pregnancy.
How does birth control ring work?
The combination of the hormones progesterone and estrogen in the contraceptive vaginal ring prevents ovulation (the release of the egg from the ovaries during a woman’s menstrual cycle). If the ovary does not release any ovum, the young woman cannot get pregnant as there is no ovum that can be fertilized by the sperm.
The hormones in the vaginal ring will also thicken the cervical mucus, making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and make contact with the eggs that have been released. The hormones in the vaginal ring will also affect the lining of the uterus at times so that it will be difficult for the egg to adhere to the wall of the uterus.
In the same way as birth control pills or the patch, a young woman should use the vaginal ring according to her menstrual cycle. The ring is placed in the vagina (similar to inserting a tampon) on the first day of your menstrual cycle or before the fifth day of your menstrual cycle. It is left in place for 3 weeks in a row. At the end of the third week, on the same day of the week that it was placed and at the same time, it is removed. In a few days menstruation will begin. At the end of the fourth week, the same day of the week that the last ring was placed, the young woman inserts a new vaginal ring, starting the process again. The new vaginal ring should be placed that same day, even if you are still menstruating.
Since the hormones in the vaginal ring do not have an immediate effect, another method of contraception (such as condoms) should be used for the first 7 days that the young woman begins using the vaginal ring. After 7 days, only the ring can be used to prevent pregnancy. But using condoms (condoms) will prevent you from getting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The exact position of the ring in the vagina is not critical, as long as it doesn’t bother you. This is because the function of the vaginal ring is not to be a contraceptive barrier. If the ring is uncomfortable, the young woman can push it further into the vagina or remove it and put it back on. If it is properly placed, most young women do not feel like they have the ring on. It will not come off when swimming, bathing or exercising. It also doesn’t come off when having sex.
The ring is supported by the vaginal muscles and that is why it is very difficult for it to come off. If it does come off, it should be rinsed in cold water (not hot!) And replaced within the next 3 hours. If it takes more than 3 hours for the ring to be put back in the vagina, there is a chance that the young woman will become pregnant and she will have to use an additional method of contraception until she has had the ring in place for 7 days. If you don’t have the ring in for more than 3 hours during the third week of use, call your doctor to ask what to do. Your doctor may tell you to put on a new ring, or tell you not to replace it, so that you get your period earlier. Be that as it may, you must use an additional contraceptive method.
How well does birth control ring work?
The effectiveness of vaginal rings is usually similar to that of the rest of the most common hormonal contraceptive methods, such as patches or pills. Studies indicate that over the course of 1 year, about 8 out of 100 typical couples who use the ring to prevent pregnancy will have an accidental pregnancy. Of course, the chances of getting pregnant depend on the correct use of the ring. Delaying or forgetting monthly placement, or removing the ring too early reduces the effectiveness of the ring.
In general, the effectiveness of a contraceptive method depends on many factors. For example, if a person has a disease or is taking medications that may interfere with their use. It is important for doctors to know what medications or herbal supplements the young woman is taking. While wearing the ring means that the young woman does not have to remember every day to take a pill or change a patch, she does need to remember to take it off after 3 weeks of use and replace it a week later. If it is not replaced in time, the ring loses its effectiveness.
Protection against sexually transmitted diseases
The vaginal ring does not provide any protection against sexually transmitted diseases. When having sex, couples should always use condoms along with the vaginal ring to protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
Abstinence (not having sex) is the only method that prevents pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases at all times.
Possible side effects of birth control ring
The vaginal ring is a safe and effective method of contraception. Most young women who use a vaginal ring have no side effects. Smoking while using the vaginal ring can increase the risk of certain side effects. That is why health professionals advise young women who wear vaginal rings not to smoke.
The side effects that some women have while using the vaginal ring are similar to those of birth control pills. Among them are the following:
- irregular menstrual bleeding
- nausea, headache, dizziness, and breast pain
- humor changes
- blood clots (rare in women under 35 years of age who do not smoke)
The following are other side effects that have been seen in women who wear vaginal rings:
- irritation or infections of the vagina
- vaginal discharge
- problems with wearing contact lenses, such as changes in vision or inability to wear contact lenses
Many of these side effects are mild and usually go away in 2 to 3 months.
Who uses birth control ring?
The vaginal ring is often helpful for young women who find it difficult to remember to take the pill every day or who have difficulty swallowing a pill. These young women should feel comfortable enough to put the device in their vagina.
Not all women can, or should, use a vaginal ring. In certain cases, some conditions or other factors make using the vaginal ring less effective or more risky. For example, it is not recommended in women who have had severe blood clots, high blood pressure, some types of cancer, certain types of migraine headaches, or diabetes with complications.
Young women who have suffered from vaginal bleeding (bleeding that occurs outside of menstruation) with no known cause or who suspect that they are pregnant should talk to their doctors, stop using the ring and use another type of contraception for the time being.
Young women who are interested in learning more about the potential health benefits and risks of different methods of birth control, including the vaginal ring, should speak with their doctor or other medical professional.
How do I get birth control ring?
The vaginal ring must be prescribed by a doctor or nurse. They will ask you questions about your family medical history and do a complete physical exam, which will include measuring your blood pressure and getting a Pap smear. If they recommend the use of a vaginal ring, they will write you a prescription and give you instructions on how to use it.
Young women who start wearing a ring may be asked to come back for an appointment in a few months to have their blood pressure checked and to make sure there are no problems. After this checkup, your doctor may recommend routine exams once or twice a year, or as needed.
How much birth control ring Cost?
The vaginal ring usually costs between $ 30 and $ 80 in the United States, although family planning clinics (such as Planned Parenthood) usually sell them for less. Also, many health insurance plans cover the cost of vaginal rings and doctor visits.