Vaginal Ring

What is it and how does it work?

A small flexible ring that is placed within the vagina that that releases estrogen and progestrogen. These hormones stop ovulation; thicken cervical mucus to stop sperm reaching an egg; and thin the lining of the womb to prevent an egg implanting.


99% effective

Who can have it?

Women of child bearing age depending on consultation.


Once in place, you don’t need to think about contraception to prevent pregnancy.

Easy to insert and remove.

It is not affected by having diarrhoea or vomiting.

It can make periods lighter and less painful.

Can also improve acne in some women. 


Not suitable if you are overweight or a smoker over the age of 35.

A small risk of blood clots to legs and lungs, also may increase risk of breast and cervical cancers.

May get breast tenderness, mood changes and headache when you first start using the vaginal ring.

Risks/Side effects

The ring is used for three out of four weeks.

May get breakthrough bleeding/spotting when you start using the ring.

Some medicines may stop the ring from working.

You must be comfortable inserting and removing the vaginal ring. 

Further guidance

Vaginal Ring