||Combined Oral Contraceptives
||Combined Vaginal Ring
|How it is used
||Pill taken orally.
||Patch worn on upper outer arm, back, abdomen or buttocks. Not on breasts.
||Ring inserted in the vagina.
|Frequency of use
||Monthly: Injection every 4 weeks.
||Weekly: Patch is changed every week for 3 weeks. No patch worn 4th week.
||Monthly: Ring kept in place for 3 weeks and taken out during 4th week.
||Depends on user's ability to take a pill every day.
||Least dependent on the user. User must return to clinic every 4 weeks (plus or minus 7 days).
||Requires user's attention once a week.
||Depends on user keeping the ring in place all day, not leaving it out for more than 3 hours at a time.
||Typically, irregular bleeding for the first few months and then lighter and more regular bleeding.
||Irregular bleeding or no monthly bleeding is more common than with COCs. Some also have prolonged bleeding in the first few months.
||Similar to COCs, but irregular bleeding is more common in the first few cycles than with COCs.
||Similar to COCs, but irregular bleeding is less common than with COCs.
||No physical signs of use but others may find the pills.
||No physical signs of use.
||Patch may be seen by partner or others.
||Some partners may be able to feel the ring.