Contraceptive vaginal rings: a review.
Author(s): Brache V, Faundes A
Affiliation(s): PROFAMILIA, P.O. Box 1053, Santo Domingo 10401, Dominican Republic. firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date & source: 2010-11, Contraception., 82(5):418-27. Epub 2010 May 20.
Publication type: Historical Article; Review
Development efforts on contraceptive vaginal rings were initiated over 40 years ago based on two principles: the capacity of the vaginal epithelium to absorb steroids and the capacity of elastomers to release these hormones at a nearly constant rate. Numerous models of contraceptive vaginal rings (CVRs) have been studied, but only two have reached the market: NuvaRing, a combined ring that releases etonogestrel (ENG) and ethinylestradiol (EE), and Progering, a progesterone-releasing ring for use in lactating women. The main advantages of CVRs are their effectiveness (similar to or slightly better than the pill), ease of use without the need of remembering a daily routine, user's ability to control initiation and discontinuation, nearly constant release rate allowing for lower doses, greater bioavailability and good cycle control with the combined ring. The main disadvantages are related to the mode of delivery; CVRs may cause vaginal discharge and complaints, ring expulsion is not uncommon, the ring may be felt during coitus and vaginal insertion may be unpleasant for some women. The studies reviewed in this article provide evidence that CVRs are safe, effective and highly acceptable to women. There is no doubt that CVRs offer a new, effective contraceptive option to women, expanding their available choices of hormonal contraception. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.