Vaginal ring, questions and answers

The vaginal ring is a hormonal contraceptive that since 2019 has been financed by the Ministry of Health. It is a flexible and transparent ring that is inserted into the vagina, until the end, so that it is right at the entrance of the uterus. It is very comfortable and releases hormones that prevent ovulation.

However, there are still many doubts and questions, since the most widely used contraceptive methods are still condoms or oral contraceptives. Therefore, in 20 minutes we are going to show some of the most frequently asked questions with their corresponding answers.

The vaginal ring, is it difficult to put on?

The truth is, no. Just the ring should be held with the index finger and thumb pressing it. This will be inserted into the vagina and when inserted, it is released to open. It is correctly put on and nothing is noticeable. Of course, it is advisable to wash your hands when putting it on, this is very important.

How long does the vaginal ring last?

The vaginal ring does not have to be put on and taken off after sexual intercourse. Once inserted into the vagina can stay a total of 3 weeks. After that time, it is removed so that menstruation begins and after the fourth week another ring is put on again. The use is similar to that of contraceptive pills only that with the ring there is no risk of forgetting.

What if I forget to remove the ring?

Since the vaginal ring is so comfortable to wear that you even forget about it, it may take a few days for you to realize that you should have removed it by now. Nothing happens. From the Espinosa Clinic they assure that “the effectiveness of the same is not affected if the withdrawal is delayed up to 7 days”.

The hormonal dose is lower, is it still as effective?

One of the advantages of the vaginal ring compared to other contraceptive methods such as the contraceptive pill is that the hormonal dose is lower. This does not mean that it is less effective or that there is a higher risk of pregnancy. The reason for the lower dose is because the vaginal mucosa absorbs hormones better. Therefore, there is no need to worry.

Why is it called a combined vaginal ring?

The vaginal ring is called combined because it releases two hormones, a progestogen and an estrogen., as indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO). These hormones are released continuously, so you will be safe and without risk of pregnancy as long as you wear it for 3 weeks.

Does the vaginal ring have side effects?

Like all hormone-releasing birth control methods, there can be side effects. WHO explains that they can manifest headaches (especially if you are already predisposed to them), vaginitis, white vaginal discharge and changes in menstruation. Menstruation may be missed, bleeding is lighter, lasts too long, or is irregular.

What happens if the use of a new ring is delayed?

The fact that it takes time to remove a ring that has been worn for 3 weeks does not interfere with protection, but it can cause a delay in putting on a new ring. In these cases, it is recommended to use an additional contraceptive method, such as a condom, to prevent an unwanted pregnancy..

The vaginal ring, can it fall off?

It is very rare for the vaginal ring to fall offHowever, if it has been misplaced it may be a possibility. If this happens, there is no need to worry. The ring should be cleaned with water and put back into the vagina. If more than 13 hours pass from when it falls to when it is placed, the Espinosa Clinic advises using an additional method for a week.

Is it effective protection for STIs or STDs?

Graphic representation of an infection.

The vaginal ring does not protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Therefore, if you have risky relationships or have several sexual partners, the ideal is to use an additional method such as a condom. This is the only one that protects from STIs or STDs.

The effectiveness of the vaginal ring is very high as long as it is used correctly. In addition, it is a different option to pills, since you do not have to worry about this method of contraception every day. It is more comfortable, nothing is noticeable and lasts up to 3 weeks. Another option to protect yourself from unwanted pregnancies, although it may be convenient to combine it with a condom to avoid contracting an STI or STD.

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