This is a small, soft ring that you place inside your vagina, it contains both oestrogen and progestogen.

Via release of these hormones, it works to prevent the release of an egg each month (ovulation), thicken the cervical mucus to make it harder for sperm to pass through into the womb, and thin the lining of the womb. 

If used correctly the vaginal ring is over 99% effective.

The ring is left in place for three weeks, then you will remove it and have a ring-free week. 

You may not be suitable to use the vaginal ring if:

  • you are pregnant
  • over 35 years old and are a smoker
  • very overweight
  • cannot hold the ring in your vagina
  • take certain medications
  • have had blood clots or a family history of blood clots
  • have had stroke or arterial disease
  • have heart or blood pressure issues
  • suffer with severe migraines
  • have or have had breast cancer
  • have liver disease
  • have diabetes.

You can start the patch at any time in your cycle, however if you start after day five of your cycle, you will need to use an alternative method of contraception, such as condoms, for the next seven days.

You can start using the vaginal ring 42 days after giving birth if you are breast feeding or 21 days if not. Additional protection may be required.

The vaginal ring can be used after abortion or miscarriage.  

The vaginal ring is easy to insert and remove and can help with premenstrual syndrome, period bleeding usually becomes lighter and less painful.

It is not affected by sickness or diarrhoea.

The vaginal ring can make users feel uncomfortable when inserting and removing it.

In some cases, users may experience the following side effects:

  • spotting
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • breast tenderness
  • some medicines can make it less effective
  • fertility levels may take a few months to return to normal
  • increased risk of blood clots
  • increased risk of breast cancer.