Annovera is a new birth control ring which was released in early 2019 after receiving approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
What are contraceptive vaginal rings?
Vaginal rings are transparent plastic rings that are placed in the vagina where they release two types of hormones – estrogen and progesterone. They are 99% effective in preventing pregnancy if used correctly. They do not protect from sexually transmitted diseases. Most vaginal rings need to be replaced every month with a new one. Annovera is different because it can be re-used for an entire year.
What are the active ingredients in Annovera?
Annovera releases 150 mcg of segesterone acetate – a type of progestin – and 13 mcg of ethinyl estradiol per day. The hormones inhibit ovulation whilst the ring is worn to prevent pregnancy.
How do I use Annovera?
The vaginal ring can easily be inserted by the patient herself. Annovera is left in place for 21 days and then has to be removed for 7 days. You will get your period during the one-week break.
Do not take Annovera if you:
- Are at risk of arterial thrombosis
- Have a history of breast cancer or hormone-related cancers
- Have liver tumors or acute hepatitis
- Have previously experienced unexplained uterine bleeding
- Are sensitive to its active ingredients
- Are using drugs known to interact with Annovera such as Hepatitis C medications
Women who are over the age of 35 years and are smokers should also refrain from taking Annovera.
Common side effects of the vaginal ring include headaches, feeling unwell (nausea/vomiting), abdominal pain, yeast infection, and tenderness around the breasts.
If you are unsure whether Annovera is the right choice for you, speak to a doctor or healthcare provider.
Advantages and disadvantages of vaginal rings?
The advantages of Annovera are that you don’t need to think about it every day (compared to the birth control pill which needs to be swallowed daily around the same time). It’s easy to insert and remove the ring. Compared to other vaginal rings, Annovera lasts for one year which makes it more cost-efficient. Vaginal rings are also better if you frequently suffer from sickness because the hormones contained in Annovera aren’t absorbed via the stomach.
It may regulate painful periods or you can choose not to have your monthly menstruation.
Hormonal rings lower the risk of certain types of cancer (ovarian, uterus and colon).
Disadvantages of Annovera include temporary side effects such as headaches and vaginal discharge. The ring needs to be removed and reinserted once a month.
Some users may experience spotting (breakthrough bleeding). It does not protect from sexually transmitted diseases.
- Official Homepage for ANNOVERA™ Contraceptive (segesterone acetate and ethinyl estradiol vaginal system) Consumer Site | TherapeuticsMD. (2019). Annovera.com. Retrieved October 20, 2019, from <https://www.annovera.com/>
- Annovera birth control vaginal ring effectively prevents unwanted pregnancy, research finds. (2019). ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2019, from <https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190326105707.htm>
- FDA approves new vaginal ring for one year of birth control. (2019). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved October 20, 2019, from <https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-vaginal-ring-one-year-birth-control>