A vaginal ring is a small thin plastic ring (one size for all) which is inserted into the vagina. Like the pill, it contains small amounts of the hormones oestrogen and progestogen, which are released very gradually into the bloodstreaam.
The vaginal ring is as effective as the pill. It works the same way, preventing ovulation, making it more difficult for sperm to enter the uterus, and making the inside lining of the uterus thinner.
The best-known vaginal ring is the NuvaRing
Advantages of the vaginal ring
- the vaginal ring does not interfere with sex
- the vaginal ring stays in place for three weeks
- hormones are released direct into the blood
- no doctor is required to place the ring
Disadvantages of the vaginal ring
- the vaginal ring must be inserted, which some girls don’t like to do
- side-effects may be the same as with the pill
Insertion of the vaginal ring
The vaginal ring is inserted on the first day of the period, or three weeks after the birth of a baby. It is placed at the back of the vagina against the mouth of the uterus, but it does not have to fit exactly. The vaginal ring is immediately effective, stays inside for three weeks and is then removed. After a week you insert a new ring. During the ring-free week you have your period. The vaginal ring does not interfere with any activity.