Counseling on vaginal delivery of contraceptive hormones: Implications for women's body knowledge and sexual health

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Background: Healthcare providers (HCPs) have an important role in helping women select the contraceptive method that best matches their needs and lifestyle. Recent surveys outline the need of women to be informed about all available choices, including the newest methods (particularly those not requiring daily administration), such as vaginal contraception. Methods: The most relevant publications on combined contraceptive vaginal ring are revised in the context of counseling as an opportunity to empower women in term of vaginal health and sexual functioning. Results: HCPs should explain the main characteristics of the combined contraceptive vaginal ring including the anatomical and physiological implications that make the vagina an ideal route of hormonal administration and the basic notions about functional modifications of the vagina during reproductive life. Clinical data on the vaginal ring should be summarized with regard to efficacy, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, cycle control and user acceptability, including recent findings on extra-contraceptive benefits (also compared to other hormonal contraceptives) on the vaginal flora and on sexual function. Conclusion: Vaginal contraception offers various benefits and should always be discussed during contraceptive counseling. An open dialogue about vaginal contraception will also help enhance body knowledge and sexual health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1015-1021
Number of pages7
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


  • Counseling
  • Hormonal contraception
  • Sexuality
  • Vaginal flora
  • Vaginal ring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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