The contraception ring looks simple and functional, but there’s more to it than that. It's made from a soft, flexible plastic and, once inserted, it slowly releases a progestogen and oestrogen into the body. The hormones stop the ovaries from releasing eggs and thicken the cervical mucus to make it harder for sperm to move. You wear it for 3 weeks then you remove it, take a week off, and then put a new ring in.
The ring sits up against your vaginal wall, so putting it in is just the same as inserting a tampon. After washing your hands, you simply squeeze it and push it inside your vagina until it's sitting against the side of your vaginal wall. Once it is comfortably in position, that's it for 3 weeks. At the end of 3 weeks you take it out and have a week off – in this week your period should start. Then after a week of not wearing the ring, you simply start the routine again.
You should use another form of contraception if the ring falls out and stays out for more than 3 hours before you reinsert it. If the ring falls out and is out for less than 3 hours, simply reinsert it and continue as normal. Once the ring has been in place for 7 consecutive days, it is effective again. If you're unsure about how to properly use the ring, consult your doctor or nurse.
Once you have stopped using the ring, you should return to your normal level of fertility
The ring does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
HOW IT MEASURES UP
Typical use means how well the method works in real life and perfect use means how well a method works under 'perfect' or ideal conditions for example when there is no user error at any time.
EFFICACY WITH PERFECT USE
The ring is more than 99% effective with “perfect use” meaning that less than one woman in every 100 who uses this method for one year will become pregnant.
The ring is self-administered with a prescription, and if used perfectly and on a perfect routine, it is a very effective method of contraception.
EFFICACY WITH TYPICAL USE
The ring is 91% effective with “typical use” meaning that 9 women out of every 100 using this method for one year will become pregnant.
The ring is self-administered with a prescription, and it requires proper placement and routine tracking to work most effectively. We're all human and we all make mistakes, but even with typical use the ring is very effective.
Yes. The ring releases a low dose of progestogen and oestrogen.
Ease of Use
The ring needs to be left in placed in the vagina for 3 weeks. It is removed during the fourth week, before being replaced at the start of another 4-week cycle.
The ring may cause temporary irregular bleeding and may stop menstruation altogether.
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Seek out an appointment with your doctor or nurse for further support that meets your needs.