When it comes to birth control, there are so many different options out there for women to use. If you don’t particularly like being on the pill, using a copper IUD, or other available birth control methods, then you can try using a vaginal ring.
If you are not sure what this is, or how to properly insert one for the best results, then we can help you. Vaginal rings are great birth control devices, but they can be tricky to insert if you are not sure how.
In this guide, we will go over what vaginal rings are, what they are for, how to insert them and more, to help you make an informed decision about your birth control.
What Is A Vaginal Ring?
A vaginal ring is a form of birth control. It is one of the most useful contraceptive methods, as it can be more than 99% effective when used properly. It is a very small, pliable plastic ring that is inserted into the vagina. Most vaginal rings are only a few millimeters thick and have a very small diameter, making them simple to use.
When using a vaginal ring, you will need to leave it inserted for 21 days in total, before removing it and discarding it. Then, you must wait seven days before you can insert another one for the next 21 days.
Vaginal rings work by releasing the estrogen and progestin hormones that work to prevent ovulation. This means that no egg is released when the ring is in use, and the ring also makes it harder for the sperm to penetrate the lining of the cervix to implant in the egg.
What Are Vaginal Rings For?
Vaginal rings are used to prevent pregnancy. When the vaginal ring is used correctly, it can be really effective. On average, fewer than one in every one hundred women will become pregnant when using this form of contraception. One ring will provide birth control for a month, therefore, you will not have to worry about taking a pill at the same time every day.
It is also still effective if you are feeling sick or vomiting, or if you have diarrhea, whereas the pill might not be.
To use the ring correctly you have to change it every month, use it for 3 weeks and then have a seven day ‘break’ period. During the seven day break period, you can also still have sex, and you will be protected from pregnancy. In addition, it is good to know that as soon as you insert the vaginal ring, you are also protected, if you insert it on the first day of your menstrual cycle. If not, then still use other forms of birth control like condoms for the first seven days of use.
A vaginal ring does not interrupt sexual activity, and you can still have sex with the ring securely in place. That being said, it can sometimes dislodge, so you will need to rinse it under warm water and place the ring back inside the vagina if this happens.
In the simplest terms, a vaginal ring thickens the vaginal mucus, making it much harder for sperm to break through and reach the eggs, while also thinning the lining of the womb, so that eggs cannot implant there to prepare for conception. It also reduces ovulation naturally. However, it should be noted that during the seven day ‘break’ when you remove the vaginal ring, you will have a withdrawal bleed, which is kind of like a period. You can skip the withdrawal bleed if needed, and replace the ring immediately if you want to.
How To Insert A Vaginal Ring
Inserting a vaginal ring for the first time can be a little difficult and fiddly. That being said, if you have inserted a menstrual cup before, then you may find it easier to do. There are some things to keep in mind when inserting a vaginal ring. For instance, you should always wash your hands first before inserting the ring to reduce the spread of bacteria, and you should never flush your vaginal ring down the toilet when removing it. Simply bin it instead, so it doesn’t cause havoc with your plumbing system.
Also, there is no need to worry about losing a vaginal ring “inside of you”. They are very simple to insert and remove when you know how. To insert a vaginal ring, squeeze the ring tightly between your finger and thumb, so that it kind of looks flat. Then, gently insert the end of the vaginal ring into your vagina. Softly, push the vaginal ring upwards into your vagina until it feels painless and comfortable for you. If you can feel it, then you may need to push it further up.
There is no specific location that the ring needs to sit in, just as long as it is comfortable, and you can’t really feel it. Unlike other forms of birth control, like a diaphragm, the ring will not need to cover the entrance to the cervix to work effectively.
After it is inserted into the vagina, you should be able to feel the ring with your fingers. If you cannot feel it, then seek help from a medical professional to be sure it is safely placed. Again, it won’t get lost, so don’t worry.
How To Remove A Vaginal Ring
When you need to remove a vaginal ring, again start with clean fingers and hands. Then, place a finger inside of your vagina, and hook your finger around the end of the ring. Then gently pull downwards until it comes out. Use the foil pouch that the old ring came in, or wrap it in toilet paper and place the vaginal ring in the bin. As mentioned earlier: Don’t flush it down the toilet!
Taking out a vaginal ring should not hurt, or cause bleeding, so if it does, speak to a medical professional for guidance.
Once you have removed the ring, take a 7 day break, and insert the new ring event if the withdrawal bleeding hasn’t stopped yet.
To summarize, a vaginal ring is a form of contraception. It is inserted into the vagina for 21 days, before being removed for a 7 day break. It is a popular form of contraception, and is easy to insert and remove.