Contraceptive Ring, Combined Hormonal Ring
91% typical; 99.7% perfect.
Every 3 weeks
Easy to access, low maintenance, easily reversible, can assist managing period.
Some user action required, may cause side effects, requires a script.
How does the Ring work?
The Vaginal Ring is a thin band, made out of polyethylene vinyl acetate, and operates on the same combined hormonal composition as The Pill. It contains oestrogen and progestogen. The oestrogen prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg. The progestogen works to thicken the cervical mucous which prevents sperm from getting through into the uterus. Unlike The Pill, however, the Ring is inserted into the vagina and left there for three weeks to slowly release the hormones.
Tip: When replacing your ring, put the old one in its foil wrapper before disposing of it. You’ll be helping out the environment – the foil wrapper helps keep whatever hormones are left in the Ring from getting into the soil and water. Whatever you do though, don’t flush it down the toilet!
How do I use the Vaginal Ring?
Step 1. Check the expiration date on the package of your Ring to make sure it hasn’t expired, before unwrapping it.
Step 2. Wash your hands with soap and water before insertion. Take the ring and squeeze the two sides of it together with one hand. With your other hand gently part the lips of your vulva.
Step 3. Insert the Ring into your vagina, pushing it up to where it feels most comfortable. You’ll know it’s in place if you can’t feel it when you’re walking around.
Step 4. After three weeks, you can remove the Ring and either have a period, or replace it with another Ring immediately to skip your period. To remove the Ring, simply hook your finger through it and gently pull it out of your vagina.
Step 5. You don’t need to remove the Ring for physical activity, going to the toilet, or during sex. It can stay in 24/7, and is designed to stay in all the time. If it bothers you or your partner during sex, it’s okay to adjust it or remove it for the duration of intercourse. If you do remove it during sex, simply rinse it in cool water and replace it as soon as you’re done.
Step 6. If your Ring is outside your vagina for more than 3 hours, you’ll need to use a backup method of contraception until the Ring has been back in place for 7 days.
Step 7. Replacement Rings should be kept at room temperature, out of sunlight, for up to 4 months. After 4 months they need to be stored in the fridge. Always read the instructions on the packaging though for optimal storage advice.