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Contraceptive Ring

The contraceptive ring is a small and flexible plastic ring which is inserted into the vagina and releases hormones into the blood.


How does it work?

The contraceptive ring works by releasing the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.


Oestrogen prevents ovulation. This is when the ovaries release an egg each month.


Progesterone thickens the mucus in the cervix so sperm cannot easily pass through and it thins the lining of the womb (endometrium) which makes it difficult for the egg to implant itself.


How long does it last?

The contraceptive ring lasts for 1 month.

Who can use it?


The contraceptive ring may not be suitable if*:


  • You have a personal or family history of breast cancer

  • Have a history of blood clots

  • Have a history of migraines

  • You smoke cigarettes

  • You are over the age of 35 years old

  • You have a high Body Mass Index (BMI)

How effective is it?

The contraceptive ring is approximately 99% effective when used perfectly and 91% effective with typical use.


There are many advantages to using the contraceptive ring such as:


  • Only needs to be changed once a month

  • It can help improve painful or heavy periods

  • It can help with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis

  • It may improve menopausal and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptom


The disadvantages of the contraceptive ring include:


  • Lack of prevention against STIs

  • May be difficult to insert

  • Your periods may not return to normal for up to 12 months after stopping the injection

  • There are risks (e.g.  blood clots and increased risk of breast and cervical cancer)

  • Side effects (e.g. spotting, headaches, breast tenderness, mood changes, increased discharge from the vagina and nausea)

*This is not an extensive list. Please see your doctor for further advice.

Sources and Useful links
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