A birth control ring is a small, flexible ring that a woman inserts into her vagina to prevent pregnancies. Birth control rings are a type of hormonal contraceptives, which means they release hormones to make it improbable for women to get pregnant. Specifically, the rings release estrogen and progestin, two types of hormones that prevent women from ovulating (or releasing eggs from their ovaries) and thicken cervical mucus so it would form a plug and keep sperm from passing through.
Many women have used birth control rings and found that they prefer using them. However, there are also lots of women who are against these rings and prefer to use other kinds of contraceptives. To decide which side you should be on, you must first be aware of the pros and cons of birth control rings.
List of Pros of the Birth Control Ring
1. It has high effectiveness rates.
Birth control rings are as effective as birth control pills and patches. They have a failure rate of 0.3 percent when used perfectly; if they’re not used as directed, they have a failure rate of 9 percent, which is still lower than other kinds of contraception.
2. It’s easy and convenient to use.
Inserting a birth control ring can be easy. You don’t even have to insert or arrange it in a special way to ensure it’s effective; it’s held in place by your vaginal muscles so, as long as you’re comfortable with how it feels, you’re good to go. Birth control rings are left in place for three weeks, which means you don’t have constantly remind yourself to put it on (unlike with birth control pills, which must be taken daily).
3. It doesn’t interfere with your sexual life.
Unlike female condoms and dental dams, birth control rings allow you to be spontaneous when it comes to sex since you don’t have to do anything before getting in between the sheets. This can help you have a happier and more fulfilling sex life.
List of Cons of the Birth Control Ring
1. It can interact with certain medications.
Birth control rings can become less effective when you take rifampin (an antibiotic), griseofulvin (an antifungal), and certain kinds of medications for HIV and seizures. If you take any of these medications, consult your doctor and see if you need to use a different type of contraceptive to avoid getting pregnant.
2. It can’t prevent STDs.
Birth control rings don’t work as a barrier contraceptive, which means they don’t prevent contact between you and your partner. So, to keep HIV and other kinds of STDs at bay, make sure to wear a female condom or ask your partner to wear a male condom.
3. It’s not a great choice for people with certain health problems.
People who have genetic blood-clotting disorders or are being treated for blood clots should not use birth control rings since these can exacerbate their medical condition. The same holds true for those who smoke, who are 35 years old and older, and who have had a stroke, a heart attack, and other kinds of cardiovascular problems.
Take note of these pros and cons to know if birth control rings are ideal for you or not.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.