What: A small, flexible ring inserted into the vagina for three weeks. The Nuvaring releases hormones that inhibit ovulation and stimulate cervical mucus to prevent sperm entering the uterus.
Effectiveness: 99.7% when used correctly and consistently
Need to know: This method is not very well known in South Africa, according to Dr Cardoso. ‘But it’s great for women who forget to take the pill.’ She suggests setting a reminder to take it out after three weeks, at which point you will experience your period, then insert a new one after a week. As for insertion, ‘It’s as easy as putting in a tampon.’ Another bonus: ‘Less than three percent of users report noticing the ring during sex,’ says Dr Cardoso.
Cost: Approximately R240.
• Easy to insert and take out
• Not systemic, meaning the hormones released are not processed by the rest of the body
• You can insert a new ring after only three weeks to avoid your period
• Less widely available than other methods in SA
• Rare but potential vaginal irritation