Vaginal Ring

What is it?

The vaginal ring is a small, soft plastic ring that you place inside your vagina. You wear the ring for 21 days and then have a break for seven days. After seven days you insert a new ring for the next 21 days. The vaginal ring available in the UK is called the Nuvaring.

The ring releases the two hormones oestrogen and progestogen daily and works by:

  • Stopping the ovaries from releasing an egg each month (ovulation)
  • Thickening cervical mucus to prevent sperm reaching an egg
  • Thinning the lining of the uterus to stop eggs from implanting

How effective is it?

The vaginal ring is more than 99% effective when used correctly. This means that less than 1 out of 100 women who use the vaginal ring will become pregnant in a year.

What are the advantages?

  • You don't have to think about it every day
  • It is not affected by sickness (vomiting or diarrhoea)
  • It can make periods regular, lighter and less painful
  • When you stop using the vaginal ring your normal level of fertility (ability to have children) will return

What else should I know?

  • It does not protect you against STIs so always use a condom
  • May not be suitable for some women, a full medical history should be taken
  • You may experience temporary minor side effects such as headaches, sickness, breast tenderness and mood changes
  • Sometimes the ring can come out on its own (expulsion). If this occurs or you are late changing your ring you may need emergency contraception . Please seek advice from a healthcare professional as soon as possible

Where can I get the contraceptive ring?

Find your nearest services using our services page.


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Sex - Worth Talking About
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 Lambeth Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood Partnership
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