Contraceptive vaginal ring
How effective is it?
The Contraceptive Vaginal Ring is over 99% effective if used according to instructions. Less than one woman in 100 will get pregnant in a year.
How does it work?
A small, flexible, plastic ring is put into the vagina and releases estrogen and progestogen. This stops ovulation, thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm reaching an egg, and thins the lining of the uterus (womb) to prevent a fertilised egg implanting.
What are the advantages?
You don’t have to think about it every day.
It is not affected if you vomit or have diarrhoea.
It can make periods regular, lighter and less painful.
It may protect against cancer of the ovary, colon and uterus.
When you stop using it your fertility will return to normal.
What are the disadvantages?
The Contraceptive Vaginal Ring is not suitable for very overweight women or smokers over 35 years.
There is very low risk of serious side-effects such as blood clots, breast and cervical cancer.
There can be temporary side effects including increased vaginal discharge and vaginal infections, headaches, nausea, breast tenderness and mood changes.
Anything else I should know?
Women must be comfortable with inserting and removing it.
The Contraceptive Vaginal Ring must be used for three weeks out of four.
Some medicines can make it less effective.
Breakthrough bleeding and spotting may occur in the first few months.