The ring might be a viable birth control option if you're seeking something that doesn't require constant attention, like a pill.
If you're searching for a hormonal contraceptive that doesn't require you to remember to take a pill every day, you're in luck! There are several alternatives to choose from. The options include a birth control patch that is replaced once a week, a shot taken every three months, or longer-lasting methods such as an IUD or birth control implant. The birth control ring may be the perfect solution if you're looking for a more easily reversible method than an IUD but still require less daily attention. Here are six essential factors to consider if you're considering this option.
The birth control ring, much like combination birth control pills, contains both estrogen and progestin. However, unlike the pill, you can rest easy knowing you don't need to remember it daily. The ring steadily releases the hormones into your body for three straight weeks, effectively preventing ovulation and thinning out the uterine lining to protect you against pregnancy.
The Nuvaring, the original form of birth control, needs to be replaced once a month. However, Annovera, a flexible silicone ring similar to Nuvaring but slightly more prominent, can be used for an entire year.
Annovera, like Nuvaring, contains estrogen and progestin, but with some distinctions. It has a slightly lower dose of estrogen and a different kind of progestin called segesterone acetate. These hormones are released steadily across 13 cycles. With Annovera, you leave the ring in for 21 days and then remove it for 7 days, during which you have a period, or more precisely, a "withdrawal bleed." Upon removal, the Annovera ring should be cleaned with mild soap and water, patted dry with a cloth or paper towel, and stored in its case for a week. The effects of Annovera are similar to those of other hormonal contraceptives, which may help reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and lighten periods.
Using Nuvaring and its generic version is safe to skip your period. If you wish to have a period, remove the ring after three weeks and wait a week before inserting a new ring at the end of the fourth week. To skip your period, leave the ring in for four weeks and replace it with a new one immediately. Consistent use may cause spotting or breakthrough bleeding throughout the month. If this happens, take a ring-free week to bleed and reduce spotting when you insert the next ring. Although Annovera is not approved to be used continuously for skipping periods, some doctors may prescribe it. If you use it to skip periods for a year, you may need to replace it after 12 cycles instead of 13.
The idea of having a ring inside you might seem strange, but the rings are pretty small, even though Annovera is no larger than a tampon. They are positioned sufficiently deep into your vagina that you shouldn't feel them. Rest assured. There's no risk that the ring can travel too far or "get lost."
The ring is constructed to stay in place during sexual activity, and it's improbable that your partner will detect it. However, if you choose, you can remove the birth control ring while having sex. Make sure to reinsert it promptly afterwards. With Nuvaring, removal for up to three hours within a 24-hour still ensures protection. In the case of Annovera, it can be safely taken out for two hours across a three-week cycle, whether one continuous two-hour interval or several shorter periods. Should it remain outside your body for more than two hours, utilizing additional protection like a condom for the following seven days is advised during sexual encounters.
People with certain risk factors, such as smoking, a history of blood clots or stroke, or experiencing migraine with aura, should not use birth control containing estrogen, like the birth control ring. Instead, they should choose a non-hormonal or progestin-only birth control method. Mobi Doctor provides progestin-only pills and the birth control shot, while the birth control implant and IUD are two estrogen-free methods that can be obtained from an in-person provider.