Contraceptive ring

photo of a Contraceptive ring

The contraceptive vaginal ring is a flexible ring that you insert into your vagina yourself. If the ring is used correctly, it’s just as reliable as the pill.

How does it work?

The contraceptive ring releases a small amount of hormones every day. One ring protects you against pregnancy for a month.

How to use it

  • Keep the ring in your vagina for 3 weeks in a row.
  • Remove the ring after 3 weeks. Don’t use one the next week. This is called the ‘ring-free interval’ and is when you’ll have your period. In the ring-free week you’re also protected against pregnancy.
  • Start with a new ring after the ring-free week.

Where can you get the vaginal ring?

You can ask your doctor or Sense for a prescription for the vaginal ring. You can get the rings at a pharmacy.

Period/menstruation

The ring will make your period regular. You can delay your period by skipping your ring-free week. In that case, start with a new ring straight after the 3 weeks.

Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages:

  • You only have to think about it twice a month.
  • You know when you'll have your period.
  • You can postpone your period.
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea do not affect its reliability.
  • The ring is invisible.

Disadvantages:

  • Sometimes you may have side effects such as headaches and tender breasts.
  • You could forget to insert a new ring at the right moment..
  • The ring doesn’t protect against STIs.
  • A slightly higher risk (in comparison with the pill) of serious side effects such as blood clots.
  • If you don't like touching your vagina, the ring may not be the right choice for you.

When do you run the risk of pregnancy?

  • If you inserted your new ring too late (your ring-free interval was longer than 7 days).
    If you keep your ring in for longer than 4 weeks.

STIs

Remember: The ring doesn’t protect against STIs. To prevent STIs you must use condoms.