The vaginal ring is a soft ring made of silicone and filled with the hormones estrogen and progestin. The ring is inserted inside the vagina where the hormones are released and pass through vaginal walls into the bloodstream. It is left in place for three weeks, even during intercourse, and then removed for the fourth week to allow menstruation.
The vaginal ring provides round-the-clock protection for one month.
- The ring fits securely inside the vagina, rarely becomes dislodged during intercourse and does not irritate the vaginal or cervical tissue.
- The vaginal ring requires a prescription from a health-care provider. The ring must be replaced each month.
- Women who cannot tolerate estrogens should not use the vaginal ring for birth control.
- Fertility returns in one to three months after use of the vaginal ring is discontinued. This may affect the planning and ideal timing of pregnancy.
- The vaginal ring does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.