A vaginal ring is:
- Over 99% effective when you use the method correctly every time
- Over 91% effective when you don’t always use the method correctly
What is it?
A vaginal ring is a small flexible ring. You put the ring in your vagina and leave it there for 3 weeks (21 days) without a break. Then you may be told to wait for a few days-up to 7 days-before putting in the new ring.
This advice will depend on your doctor's instructions.
How does it work?
The vaginal ring releases the artificial form of the hormones - oestrogen and progesterone - which are absorbed from your vagina and into your blood.
It works by:
- stopping ovulation (an egg being released from your ovaries)
- thickening the mucus at the neck of the womb (uterus) so it is difficult for sperm to enter the womb
- thinning the lining of the womb and this prevents a fertilised egg from settling (implanting) in the womb
It is important that you talk to a doctor who will assess what contraceptive option is best for you.
- The ring stays in so you don't have to think about contraception every day.
- You insert it yourself.
- It does not interrupt sex.
- You must be comfortable with inserting and removing it.
- Its effectiveness maybe reduced by taking certain medications.
- It is not suitable if you smoke and over 35 years of age.
- It is not suitable if you are obese.
- It may not be suitable if you are breastfeeding. Check with your doctor.
- It does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).