Vaginal ring

What the packet says

What is it?

Hormonal ingredients
What’s it made of?

The vaginal ring is made out of a type of plastic that will not dissolve in the body (ethylene vinylacetate copolymers) and magnesium stearate

How it works

The vaginal ring is a small soft plastic ring that you place inside your vagina for several weeks at a time, steadily releasing the hormones oestrogen and progesterone into the bloodstream. It prevents pregnancy in three ways - by stopping ovulation, making the fluid in your cervix thicker (which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb), and preventing the lining of your womb thickening enough for an embryo to grow in it.

How does this compare?

Frequency

  • During intercourse
  • Daily
  • Monthly
  • 1 - 3 Months
  • 1 - 3 Years
  • 3 - 5 Years
  • Permanent

Similar to

Clinical effectiveness

99% if used perfectly

What does this mean?

Contains hormones

  • Yes
  • No
What does this mean?

What you said

These stats are based on 7 reviews

Side Effects

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After Effects

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Moods & Emotions

Periods

Body Weight

Sex Drive

Reviewer data

Time Taken

Age of Reviewers

Reviewers had children

Reviewers currently using

Detailed information

How to get started

  • Your doctor or nurse will do some tests to make sure that you can have the ring. They check your medical history, make sure that you’re not pregnant and take your blood pressure.
  • You can start using the ring at any time in your period cycle. If you fit it on the first day of your cycle, you will be protected from pregnancy straight away. At any other time in your cycle and you’ll need to use condoms or other contraception for seven days.
  • You can insert a ring 21 days after giving birth, or immediately after having an abortion or miscarriage. If you’re breastfeeding a baby six months old or less, you shouldn’t use the ring as it can sometimes reduce your flow of milk.
  • You will be prescribed a box of one or three rings by your doctor or nurse. Wash your hands and squeeze the first ring between your thumb and finger and gently insert the tip into your vagina.
  • Push it into your vagina so it feels comfortable – it should be far enough inside you so that you don’t feel it, towards your cervix, like a tampon.
  • After 21 days, you remove the ring and have a seven day ring-free break. In this break you may have a bleed. You then put in a new ring for another 21 days.

How to stop

  • To stop using the ring, you will need to remove it and not replace it. To remove it, wash your hands and put a finger into your vagina and hook it around the end of the ring and gently pull it out. Put it in the special bag provided and throw it in the bin.
  • Check out our survey results to see how long it took most women’s cycles to return to their definition of ‘normal’ after they stopped using the ring, and learn about the after effects they’ve experienced.

Things that can go wrong

  • Sometimes the ring can accidentally fall out (during sex or naturally), you can forget to take the ring out after three weeks, or you can forget to put a new one in after your seven-day break. What you should do next depends on how long it has been out or in, and where you are in your cycle – check out the NHS advice or read the instructions.
  • With any combined type of hormonal contraception there is a slightly increased risk of developing blood clots in your veins and arteries. We are developing a full guide to the medical research on the serious and potentially life threatening side effects of contraceptives here.

Reviews

Vaginal ring

The best option for me! After using various other methods for more than 10 years (pills, patch etc) I was suggested the ring by…

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Vaginal ring

I didn’t really notice any side effects except that my partner could feel the ring when we were having sex which was off-putt…

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Vaginal ring

I’ve been using this for maybe 18 years! The one issue I’ve found is that it doesn’t work perfectly when you…

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Vaginal ring

For me it has all the same side effects of taking the pill (not many but a bit of vaginal dryness and loss of sex drive) but a …

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Vaginal ring

I enjoyed the Nuva Ring. I chose it because I knew the pill wasn’t for me. It was the first and only birth control I have…

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Vaginal ring

After struggling with various versions of the pill I was offered this and works very well for me. No need to remember every day…

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Vaginal ring

This contraception is the best I have tried. I have been on the pill and patches before trying the ring and I would never go ba…

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