Vaginal ring

A vaginal ring is a small, soft plastic ring that you place inside your vagina. You leave it in your vagina for 21 days, then remove it and throw it in the bin (not down the toilet) in a special disposal bag. Seven days after removing the ring you insert a new one for the next 21 days. 

What are the benefits of using a vaginal ring?

  • It is more than 99 per cent effective when used correctly.
  • It’s easy to put in and remove.
  • One ring will provide contraception for a month. 
  • It doesn’t interrupt sex.
  • It is still effective if you have vomiting or diarrhoea.
  • It may ease premenstrual symptoms, and bleeding will probably be lighter and less painful.

Things to consider

  • It doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections.
  • It may not be suitable for you if you don’t feel comfortable inserting or removing it from your vagina.
  • Some women have temporary side effects, including more vaginal discharge, breast tenderness and headaches.
  • A few women develop a blood clot when using the ring, but this is rare.
  • Sometimes the ring can come out on its own, but you can rinse it in warm water and put it back in as soon as possible.

Where can I get more information?

The Family Planning Association provides a range of helpful information.

My contraception tool

The FPA has developed an interactive tool that can help you find out which methods of contraception may be best for you.

The tool asks questions about your health, lifestyle and contraceptive preferences. All your answers are completely confidential and can't be linked back to you. The tool is available on their website.

Find out more