The vaginal ring is a soft plastic transparent ring (4mm thick and 5.5cm in diameter) which is inserted into the vagina on the first day of your period and worn for 21 days at a time.
About the contraceptive ring
After the 21 day interval, the ring is removed and safely thrown in the bin (and not the toilet). After 7 days of removing the ring, a new ring is inserted and kept in for another 21 days. The cycle is to be continued as long as this method of protection against pregnancy is required.
How it works
The ring releases a constant dose of oestrogen and progestogen hormones which are absorbed through the vaginal wall and work to stop the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation). It also thickens vaginal mucus and thins the lining of the womb making it more difficult for a fertilised egg to implant.
How effective is it
When used correctly and according to the instructions, the ring is more than 99% effective against pregnancy but does not protect you against STIs. (Only Condoms protect against STIs)
Benefits of using one
The ring has several benefits including:
- Continual contraceptive cover for a month so you don't have to think about it every day
- You can have sex while wearing the ring
- It's easy to insert and take out
- It still works if you vomit or have diarrhoea
- It may ease premenstrual symptoms and your periods are likely to be lighter and less painful
- It may reduce the risks of certain conditions such as fibroids and ovarian cysts