Beyond the Pill
The Vaginal ring is a flexible ring worn in the vagina. It is folded and inserted high into the vagina, where it slowly releases estrogen and progestin. These hormones are absorbed into the bloodstream. Each ring is made of a type of vinyl and should be worn for three weeks out of the month. The ring is about two inches in diameter, and one size fits all women. The exact positioning of the ring within the vagina is not critical for it to work, because it is not a barrier method and therefore cannot be incorrectly inserted within the vagina. Like the patch, it is in essence the pill in ring form—the hormones are the same, but the delivery method is different, since the hormones are absorbed through your vagina. It has the same health risks, benefits and side effects as the pill. Additional side effects may include vaginal discharge, infection or irritation in small numbers of women.