What is a Vaginal ring?
The vaginal ring is a drug delivery device inserted into the vagina to prevent pregnancy. The vaginal ring is typically inserted into the vagina once every month, left in place for three weeks and removed for the remaining week each week. The vaginal walls hold the ring in place. A vaginal ring is not removed during intercourse.
A Vaginal ring contains two female hormones; estrogen and progestin. When these hormones are released, that work by keeping the eggs in the ovaries. For pregnancy to occur, an egg has to leave the ovary and travel to the cervix where it gets fertilized by a sperm cell.
The hormones in a vaginal ring also make the cervical mucus thicker, an action that prevents sperm cells from reaching the egg. That way, the vaginal ring prevents fertilization from occurring. In case an egg is fertilized, the vaginal ring will stop implantation by changing the uterine lining.
When a fertilized egg fails to implant itself on the walls of the uterus, it is passed out of the body through the menstrual cycle.
Vaginal ring Medical Uses
To prevent pregnancy, the vaginal ring has to be inserted correctly. Be sure to read the instructions of use that come with a vaginal ring pack. If you are unsure of anything, call your doctor before inserting the vaginal ring. If you’re using the vaginal ring for the first time, talk to your physician about its safety. Here’s how to use a vaginal ring;
- Note the day you insert a new vaginal ring. Let the ring stay in place for three weeks
- Take a one week break before your periods. Remove the vaginal ring on the same day of the week that you inserted it three weeks earlier
- Insert a new vaginal ring on the same day of the week as you did four weeks ago
Vaginal ring Side Effects
The hormones in a vaginal ring may cause side effects. Most of these side effects are mild and will disappear as the body gets used to the effects caused by the hormones. However, if the following vaginal ring side effects last longer than expected, get immediate medical help;
- a sudden severe headache
- a new lump in your breast
- achy soreness in the leg
- severe pain in your abdomen or chest
- aura — experiencing bright, flashing zigzag lines, usually before a very severe headache
- no period after having a period every month
- trouble breathing
- headaches that are different, severe, or occur more often than usual
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
Note that the hormones in a vaginal ring make cause other side effects.
Vaginal ring Interactions
Using a vaginal ring together with certain drugs can cause interactions. Before using a vaginal ring, share a list of every drug, supplement or herbal remedy to help detect possible interaction. Here are some medications substances that should not be used together a vaginal ring.
- Adderall (amphetamine / dextroamphetamine)
- Ambien (zolpidem)
- Cymbalta (duloxetine)
- Lamictal (lamotrigine)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Singulair (montelukast)
- Synthroid (levothyroxine)
- Topamax (topiramate)
- Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)
- Wellbutrin XL (bupropion)
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Zyrtec (cetirizine)
The vaginal ring may interact with other drugs and substances. Talk to your doctor for more information
Vaginal ring Drugs