No-Hassle Birth Control

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The Ring (NuvaRing)

What is it? A flexible vinyl ring that you insert into your vagina by hand. How does it work? Once in place, the ring will steadily release hormones similar to those in the pill, and you can forget about it for three weeks -- 85 percent of women and 71 percent of men say that they can't feel the ring during sex. After three weeks, remove the ring, and you'll get your period. Don't use it if you have weakened pelvic floor muscles, which sometimes result from vaginal childbirth. In extreme cases, the ring may come out inadvertently, explains Petra Polasek, MD, a gynecologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Cost: $30 to $35 a month

Continued on page 3:  The Patch (Ortho Evra)


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