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The Vaginal Ring

How it works

  • A small, flexible, plastic ring, inserted into the vagina, releases hormones, change every 3-4 weeks

  • Releases the hormones oestrogen and progesterone (stops the body releasing an egg and making other changes needed for pregnancy)

 

Advantages

  • Easy to insert and remove

  • If used correctly it can be over 99% effective i.e. less than 1 in 100 women using the contraceptive patch (Note: with typical use its about 91% effective i.e. 9 in 100 get pregnant in a year)

  • Can help make periods lighter, less painful and more regular

  • It can improve acne in some women

 

Disadvantages

  • Can temporarily cause headaches, breast tenderness and mood changes 

  • May be seen by others 

  • A low risk of some more serious side effects such as blood clots, breast and cervical cancer

  • Breakthrough bleeding and spotting may occur in the first few months