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Contraceptive vaginal ring

The contraceptive vaginal ring is a soft, plastic ring which you insert into the vagina by yourself.

It releases the same hormones as the combined pill, and works the same way, by stopping ovulation. It does this by thickening the mucus around the cervix, which makes it harder for sperm to get through, and makes the lining of the womb thinner so a fertilised egg cannot implant.

The ring is inserted into the vagina and left in continuously for 21 days. You then remove the ring and throw it away, then have a seven-day break when you don’t have a ring in place. As long as you inserted the ring correctly you will be protected against pregnancy during this week.

The vaginal ring is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Not sure which type of contraception is right for you? Worried because you’ve had sex without a condom? Let us help you choose the right option.

For detailed information on the contraceptive ring, please see the NHS website.

See the FPA website for a range of downloadable leaflets on contraception.