Vaginal ring

A vaginal ring is:

  • 99% effective when you use the method correctly every time
  • 91% effective when you don’t always use the method correctly

What is it?

A vaginal ring is a contraceptive to stop you getting pregnant.

A vaginal ring is a flexible ring. Women who use a vaginal ring put it in their vagina for three weeks every month to help prevent pregnancy.

How does it work?

If you use this ring, it releases female hormones – oestrogen and progestogen – which are absorbed from your vagina and into your blood. This will cause your brain to temporarily stop ovulation just like the pill.

Before you consider using a vaginal ring, talk to your doctor. They will help you decide what contraceptive option is best for you.


  • Convenient once a month replacement.
  • Good for women who may forget to take a pill daily.
  • You insert it yourself.
  • The vaginal ring will deliver a lower dose of hormones into your blood than the pill and the patch. It is just as effective as the pill or the patch in preventing a pregnancy.
  • This method may suit you if you have had side-effects from the patch and the pill.
  • Your partner may not experience any discomfort from the ring.
  • It cannot injure you or get lost in your vagina.
  • It does cannot move into your womb or anywhere else.


  • Not suitable for you if you smoke, are obese or over 35 years of age.
  • Certain medication can interfere with its effectiveness. It is important to inform the doctor treating you for any illness or injury that you use the contraceptive ring.
  • Does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections.
  • Costs more than the pill.
  • Not available without a prescription.
  • Not advised for smokers over 35.
  • Not advised for women who are breastfeeding.