How effective is it? Over 99% effective when used correctly. Less than 1 woman in every 100 will get pregnant each year using this method.
How does it work? A small flexible ring placed in the vagina releases oestrogen and progesterone. It stops ovulation, thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm reaching the egg and thins the lining of the uterus to prevent a fertilised egg implanting.
Advantages: Don’t have to think about it every day, not affected by vomiting or diarrhoea, can make periods lighter, more regular and less painful.
Disadvantages: Not suitable for very overweight people, smokers over 35 years old. Temporary side effects: increased vaginal discharge, headaches, nausea, breast tenderness & mood changes. Small risk of serious side effects: blood clots, breast/cervical cancer.
You must be able to comfortably insert and remove the ring yourself. It is worn for 3 out of 4 weeks. There may be some “breakthrough” bleeding between periods when the ring is out.