Female Birth Control Options | Family Planning
Birth Control Options: The Ring
What it is:
The ring (NuvaRing) is a soft, flexible transparent ring that measures approximately two inches in diameter. It contains hormones and is inserted into the vagina like a tampon, where the hormones are slowly released on a continual basis.
What it does:
The combination of estrogen and progestin hormones (much like the Pill) prevent ovulation, thicken cervical mucus so the sperm can't reach the egg, and make the lining of the uterus unreceptive to the implantation of a fertilized egg. A new ring is inserted every month and remains there for three weeks. It's removed after three weeks so you'll get your period during week four.
The ring is inserted only once a month, making it a convenient form of birth control. And, like oral contraceptives, it's highly effective when used correctly and consistently. For every 100 women using NuvaRing for an entire year, only one or two will become pregnant. Plus, the ring can be worn during sex or exercise.
Side effects may include vaginal discharge, vaginitis, and irritation. Like oral contraceptives, the ring may increase the risk of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke. Like other forms of hormonal birth control, women who use the ring are strongly advised not to smoke, as it may increase the risk of heart-related side effects.
There's also a slight chance it can become dislodged or pushed out during sex or a bowel movement, but there's a three-hour safety window when the same ring can be washed and placed back inside the vagina without it affecting pregnancy prevention.
Video: Short Term Birth Control Options - Teenology 101
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