1. The ring
Up to 99 percent effective at preventing pregnancy, the ring releases two hormones that stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month. It also thickens the cervical mucus making it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus. The ring cannot prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so condom use is recommended if you have multiple sexual partners.
The problem: Ten percent of women experience increased vaginal discharge. For 20 percent of users, the ring can slip out of the vagina. In many cases, this expulsion is related to a uterine prolapse when weak pelvic floor muscles cause the uterus to drop into the vagina.
The solution: Dr. Amanda Black, chair of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada’s Contraception Awareness Program, advises against using a pad each day to collect excessive discharge because it can cause vulva irritation. “If discharge is problematic, look at an alternative contraception method,” she says. If the ring slips out of the vagina, check with your medical provider to confirm that you’re inserting it correctly, and to rule out a uterine prolapse.