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How To Insert A Vaginal Ring For Menopausal Symptoms
- A vaginal ring contains medicine that is put into your vagina (vuh-JI-nuh) (birth canal). The ring will release small amounts of a hormone that your body will take in and use. The hormone is used to treat symptoms that may occur with menopause (change of life). Some of these symptoms are vaginal dryness and itching. Other symptoms are feeling pain when urinating or the feeling of having to urinate right away.
- Before using the vaginal ring, tell your caregiver if you are allergic (uh-LER-jik) to any medicines. You should not use this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
How do I use my vaginal ring?
Your vaginal ring can be taken out or put into your vagina by you or your caregiver. Your caregiver will show you how to put your vaginal ring in. You should receive another information sheet from your caregiver or pharmacist about this medicine. Read the information, and talk with your caregiver if you have questions. Follow these steps to put in your vaginal ring:
- You may lie down, stand with one leg up, or squat when you insert the ring. Choose a position that feels best to you.
- Wash your hands with soap and water and make sure your hands are dry. Remove your vaginal ring from its pouch.
- Press the sides of the ring together using your thumb and pointer finger.
- Push the ring high up into the vagina like a tampon.
- When your vaginal ring is in place you should not feel anything. If you feel discomfort when the ring is in place, it may not be far enough inside your vagina. Gently use your finger to push the ring higher into your vagina. It is important that your vaginal ring is placed in the upper part of the vagina.
- You do not have to worry about pushing the ring up too far or it getting lost. Your cervix (the narrow, lower end of your uterus) will block the ring from going too high.
- If the ring slips down into your lower vagina when you have a bowel movement, use your finger to push it back up. If the ring comes completely out, rinse it in warm (not hot) water and put it back in.
- The ring should stay in your vagina for 90 days. After 90 days take out your old ring and put in a new one.
- Wash and dry your hands
- You may lie down, stand with one leg up, or squat when you remove the ring. Choose a position that feels best to you.
- Use your finger to hook the ring and gently pull it out. Do not flush the old ring down the toilet. Throw the ring away where children or pets cannot get to it.
- You do not need to remove your vaginal ring during sex. Most women and their partners do not feel the ring. If you or your partner can feel your vaginal ring during sex then you can remove it just before sex. Make sure you put the ring back in afterward.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
Your vaginal ring should be taken out and a new ring put in after 90 days. If you forget to take the ring out after 90 days, call your caregiver for instructions.
- You are bleeding from your vagina and you do not know why.
- Your vaginal ring causes irritation (such as itching, pain, or burning).
- You need to take other vaginal medicines.
- You have pain in your chest or the back of your leg (calf).
- You have shortness of breath, feel like you are going to pass out or are coughing up blood.
- You have a very bad headache, or trouble talking or seeing.
- You have numbness or weakness in your arm or leg.
- You have lumps in your breast that you did not have before.
- The whites of your eyes or your skin turns yellow.
- You have stomach pain or tenderness or vomiting.
You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan you must learn how to use a vaginal ring. You can then discuss menopausal treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care will be used to treat your condition.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.