The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its approval of the newest contraceptive last week. Annovera is the first vaginal ring contraceptive that can be used for up to a year to prevent pregnancy.

It is a flexible, donut-shaped ring that is placed in the vagina. The difference between this kind and other ring-shaped contraceptives, is that it is reusable.

It is placed in the vagina for three weeks, followed by one week outside of the vagina for women to have their period. This is known as a withdrawal bleed. It can be repeated every four weeks for an entire year.

Annovera is washable and comes with a compact storage case for when it is not in use.

Women between 18 and 40 years old were studied in three open, clinical trials. Based on the results, two to four women out of 100 may get pregnant while using Annovera.

“The FDA is committed to supporting innovation in women’s health and today’s approval builds on available birth control options,” said Victor Crentsil, M.D., acting deputy director of the Office of Drug Evaluation III in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

According to the FDA press announcement, side effects for women using Annovera may include “headaches, headache/migraine, nausea/vomiting, yeast infections, abdominal pain, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), breast tenderness, irregular bleeding, diarrhea and genital itching.”

As with many hormonal contraceptives, there are some serious risks women need to take into consideration before pursuing Annovera. The device comes with a warning in regards to those who smoke and cardiovascular events.

Women with the following health conditions have been warned not to use Annovera:

  • A high risk of arterial or venous thrombotic diseases;
  • Current or history of breast cancer or other estrogen- or progestin-sensitive cancer;
  • Liver tumors, acute hepatitis, or severe (decompensated) cirrhosis;
  • Undiagnosed abnormal uterine bleeding;
  • Hypersensitivity to any of the components of Annovera; and
  • Use of Hepatitis C drug combinations containing ombitasvir/paritaprevir/ritonavir, with or without dasabuvir.