Ever heard of the vaginal ring? Well it’s a type of birth control for women. It is a small, flexible ring worn inside the vagina to prevent pregnancy. Just like most forms of birth control, the ring contains the hormones estrogen and progestin.
The ring’s hormones work by thickening the cervical mucus, this way; it’s hard for sperm to swim to an egg, meaning that fertilization would not occur. It also works by keeping the eggs in the ovaries so they can’t join with sperm. The hormones also stop ovulation and when there’s no ovulation, it means there’s no egg for sperm to fertilize.
How is the ring used?
The ring is worn inside the vagina once in a month and remains there for a three week period. After the third week, it is removed and a new one is not inserted until after a week. While this procedure might sound scary, it is actually a relatively simple, safe and convenient way to prevent pregnancy
How effective is it and is it safe?
If used correctly, the ring is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. About 1 in 100 women would get pregnant when using the ring correctly and about 9 out of 100 women would get pregnant when the ring is not used correctly. For most women, the ring is a safe birth control method, however, a woman should not use the ring if:
- She’s pregnant
- She smokes cigarettes and has high blood pressure
- She smokes cigarettes and is above 35
- She has been ill for a long period
- She has a serious illness like liver disease, heart problems, uncontrolled diabetes and migraines