Contraceptive Ring

What is it?

A small plastic ring you place in your vagina

How does the contraceptive ring work?

The ring releases a daily dose of hormones ( oestrogen and progestogen) through the skin of the vagina into the blood stream. It stops ovulation, thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm reaching an egg and thins the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation of a fertilised egg

How to use the Contraceptive Ring.

A ring is used for 3 weeks out of 4.  After the three weeks you have 7 days without using a ring (ring-free week). During this time you will get a withdrawal bleed. On the eighth day you put a new ring in for the next 3 weeks.

How effective is the Contraceptive Ring?

It is over 99% effective if used according to instructions

What are the advantages of the Contraceptive Ring?

You only have to replace a new ring once a month. It may help with premenstrual symptoms and may make periods lighter and less painful.

What are the disadvantages of the Contraceptive Ring?

It is not suitable for very overweight women (BMI of 35 or above) or those over 35yrs who smoke. It can cause temporary side effects such as headaches, nausea, mood changes and breast tenderness. It may be seen and can cause irritation. There is a small risk of a serious complication such as a blood clot (thrombosis) or a stroke. Pregnancy has these risks as well!

Does the Contraceptive Ring protect against Sexually Transmitted infections?

No, condoms are the only form of contraception which give protection against some infections