All about the vaginal ring

The vaginal ring is a soft, flexible ring that measures about 5 centimeters in diameter and is inserted into the vagina over a period of 21 days. It must be removed on the 4th week to have your period. It is similar to the pill except for the method of administration. Its use has advantages, disadvantages and risks.

Advantages of the vaginal ring

The vaginal ring does not require daily attention. If the device comes off, it can be rinsed with cold or warm water and put back on (hot water can remove some of the hormones and reduce its effectiveness). This method can be stopped at any time, even without the doctor's advice, without any risk to the return to fertility, which is automatic. Moreover, it is easy to insert and remove. 

The disadvantages of the vaginal ring

Sometimes, the partner may feel discomfort during sexual relations due to the presence of the vaginal ring. This method can cause yeast infections and irregular bleeding between periods. If a woman forgets to insert the vaginal ring after 4 weeks, she is no longer protected. The device may even come off during sex.

Side effects of the vaginal ring

Women who use the vaginal ring report side effects that are similar to those of the regular pill. They often report:

  • Headaches;
  • Swelling of the breasts that become more sensitive to pain;
  • High frequency of vaginal discharge and blood loss between periods.

Contraindications of the vaginal ring

As mentioned above, the vaginal ring and the contraceptive pill have many similarities. It is contraindicated in women over 35 years of age, smokers, women with migraines, breastfeeding women, women with a history of heart disease (blood clots, stroke, high blood pressure or heart problems).