Contraception Reviews

Contraceptive gel vs Vaginal ring

Contraceptive gel

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Vaginal ring

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Overview

Rated 4.3

3 reviews

Before sex

Frequency

79% - 86%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 3.0

8 reviews

3 weekly

Frequency

91% - 99+%

Effectiveness

Increased

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Contraceptive gel ingredients

Birth control gels include spermicides and a new gel called Phexxi. These gels contain chemicals which prevent sperm from reaching an egg by affecting the sperm's motility and helping to block the cervix (opening into the womb).

Vaginal ring ingredients

Main hormones in Vaginal ring

progestin

What Lowdown reviewers say

Benefits: What this birth control can help with

There are no benefits that are recognised in scientific research or guidelines for this birth control

Acne or bad skin

Heavy periods

PMS and PMDD

PCOS symptoms

Period pain

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Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Contraceptive gel reviews

3 reviews

Used for 12 - 18 mo
42 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  12th Jan 24

  •  Still using

I feel like I've tried every birth control out there. Pills, patches rings, IUDs - with the exception of depo, you name it, I've tried it. But Phexxi has been a game changer for me! I never felt "whole" on hormonal methods or the IUDs, but with Phexxi I don't have to deal with hormonal side effects and I only use it when I need it. Super easy to use, not messy, and I feel like myself again!

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Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
56 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  12th Jan 24

  •  Still using

Love that I can use Phexxi only when I need it. I do not like adding hormones to my body. I really love the lubricating effect, makes for even better sex!


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
24 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  11th Dec 23

  •  Stopped using

Phexxi works great — if you actually use it. Oops! My kid sister used Phexxi for about a year either by itself or along with condoms when she was ovulating. Then one time when she and her boyfriend were staying in my apartment for a family wedding, they picked me as the designated driver and the two of them had way too much to drink. They were all over each other in the car on the way home. Which was kind of cute but then when we got back to my place she wanted me to help her insert her birth control. I took her back to their bedroom and started getting her out of her clothes and I was like why don’t you just skip using it if you’re not in the middle of your cycle, and then she showed me her period tracker on her phone. Yep, not a good time to skip using protection, but still … She passed out while I was reading the instructions on the applicator, so I just was like whatever, I’m not doing this. I got off the rest of her clothes and woke her up and said I would tell her boyfriend she was ready. She didn’t even ask if I had inserted her Phexxi. The walls in my apartment are thin, so I heard the entire “discussion” when he couldn’t find their box of condoms. She was too drunk and horny to say no. She had no idea she was about to try to conceive. And yes, she became a mommy that night.


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
42 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  12th Jan 24

  •  Still using

I feel like I've tried every birth control out there. Pills, patches rings, IUDs - with the exception of depo, you name it, I've tried it. But Phexxi has been a game changer for me! I never felt "whole" on hormonal methods or the IUDs, but with Phexxi I don't have to deal with hormonal side effects and I only use it when I need it. Super easy to use, not messy, and I feel like myself again!


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
56 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  12th Jan 24

  •  Still using

Love that I can use Phexxi only when I need it. I do not like adding hormones to my body. I really love the lubricating effect, makes for even better sex!


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
24 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  11th Dec 23

  •  Stopped using

Phexxi works great — if you actually use it. Oops! My kid sister used Phexxi for about a year either by itself or along with condoms when she was ovulating. Then one time when she and her boyfriend were staying in my apartment for a family wedding, they picked me as the designated driver and the two of them had way too much to drink. They were all over each other in the car on the way home. Which was kind of cute but then when we got back to my place she wanted me to help her insert her birth control. I took her back to their bedroom and started getting her out of her clothes and I was like why don’t you just skip using it if you’re not in the middle of your cycle, and then she showed me her period tracker on her phone. Yep, not a good time to skip using protection, but still … She passed out while I was reading the instructions on the applicator, so I just was like whatever, I’m not doing this. I got off the rest of her clothes and woke her up and said I would tell her boyfriend she was ready. She didn’t even ask if I had inserted her Phexxi. The walls in my apartment are thin, so I heard the entire “discussion” when he couldn’t find their box of condoms. She was too drunk and horny to say no. She had no idea she was about to try to conceive. And yes, she became a mommy that night.


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments


Vaginal ring reviews

8 reviews

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
38 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  1 month ago

  •  Stopped using

This birth control caused me to have 2 strokes and I almost died. I do not recommend it at all. My doctor insisted I use it and within the first year I had more frequent and more severe headaches. I gained a ton of weight and my cholesterol shot up despite my being a very active vegetarian and working with a dietician. After 18 months on it I had my first stroke and it went undiagnosed, I had a severe headache and I went blind. The hospital sent me home and told me it was "just a migraine." 10 months later I had a massive bilateral stroke that has ruined my life. I am only in my 30s. Run far away from this medication.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
29 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  2nd Feb 24

  •  Stopped using

I was on this birth control for 10 years until I got a blood clot and had to be on blood thinners for a month. Not fun.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
27 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  21st Jan 24

  •  Stopped using

I’m not a birth control novice and wanted to try Annovera due to its novel progestin and ease of use. It’s worth noting that I’m extremely sensitive to progestin related side effects. I have never felt worse in my life than the week I used this ring. I endured episodes of uncontrollable vomiting, horrendous body aches, and a constant feeling of internal rage!! Plus, the level of discharge it caused was frankly disturbing and unlike anything I’ve experienced in the past. Felt better almost immediately upon removal. Obviously every person’s experience will be unique but I definitely wouldn’t recommend Annovera to anyone.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
38 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  1 month ago

  •  Stopped using

This birth control caused me to have 2 strokes and I almost died. I do not recommend it at all. My doctor insisted I use it and within the first year I had more frequent and more severe headaches. I gained a ton of weight and my cholesterol shot up despite my being a very active vegetarian and working with a dietician. After 18 months on it I had my first stroke and it went undiagnosed, I had a severe headache and I went blind. The hospital sent me home and told me it was "just a migraine." 10 months later I had a massive bilateral stroke that has ruined my life. I am only in my 30s. Run far away from this medication.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
29 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  2nd Feb 24

  •  Stopped using

I was on this birth control for 10 years until I got a blood clot and had to be on blood thinners for a month. Not fun.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
27 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  21st Jan 24

  •  Stopped using

I’m not a birth control novice and wanted to try Annovera due to its novel progestin and ease of use. It’s worth noting that I’m extremely sensitive to progestin related side effects. I have never felt worse in my life than the week I used this ring. I endured episodes of uncontrollable vomiting, horrendous body aches, and a constant feeling of internal rage!! Plus, the level of discharge it caused was frankly disturbing and unlike anything I’ve experienced in the past. Felt better almost immediately upon removal. Obviously every person’s experience will be unique but I definitely wouldn’t recommend Annovera to anyone.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
37 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  14th Jan 24

  •  Still using

First three months were great. No period no break through bleeding no side effects. On month 4 I started having extreme cramps and breakthrough bleeding often. I would remove ring (1 hour) and re insert it due to the cramps. I even tried having regular cycles. Nothing helped with bleeding or cramps. I like not having to take a pill everyday, but I don’t think it’s worth the cramps and break through bleeding.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
19 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  24th Oct 23

  •  Stopped using

Very easy to use. Periods were heavy at first but very light on last days. Main problem was discharge. Caused a increase in my migraines


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
42 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  5th Oct 23

  •  Still using

I’ve used NuvaRing for over 20years and highly recommend it. It’s super easy to put in and take out. And I really like that I don’t have to worried about it for 3 weeks!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
28 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  4th Oct 23

  •  Still using

I generally like my Nuvaring, when I'm responsible about using it correctly. I feel confident that it works and I can forget about it most of the time, until I forget to take it out or put it in on the right day. I have used it to skip a period every once in a while. When used inconsistently like that, in combo with not taking out or putting in on the right days, I developed terrible migraines and strange neurological symptoms, like lightheadedness and scalp numbness/tingling. But when I used it regularly again, the symptoms disappeared. I do think I gained weight on it.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
32 years old
🇺🇸 US
  •  3rd Aug 23

  •  Still using

Overall, the birth control is reliable. I like not having to worry about it on a daily basis and it does not interfere with sex.


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

Birth control alternatives and comparisons

Compare the Contraceptive gel with other birth control

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