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Vaginal contraceptive ring

  • The vaginal contraceptive ring is a flexible ring of synthetic material (cross section 5 cm) which you insert into your vagina to prevent pregnancy.  
  • The ring contains 2 female hormones, released into the mucous membrane of the vagina.  
  • Just like with the pill the hormones make sure that no eggs ripen.  
  • The ring is a reliable form of contraception if you use it correctly.


How do you use the vaginal ring?

  • You can insert the ring into your vagina, just like a tampon.  
  • You can stand up, squat or lie down.  
  • Fold the ring together and push it as far as possible into your vagina until you can’t feel it anymore.  The position of the ring is not important to be effective.  
  • If the ring is deep enough, you hardly feel it or don’t feel it at all.
  • Write down in your agenda the day and time of inserting the ring (e.g. Wednesday evening 10:00 pm). This is important because three weeks later, you have to remove the ring again around the same time (Wednesday evening 10:00 pm).
  • After one week without ring, you insert a new ring at the same time (in this case on Wednesday evening at 10:00 pm).

 

When are you protected against pregnancy?

  • When you use the ring for the first time, you have to insert it between the first day and the fifth day of your period.  
  • During the first seven days after inserting the ring, this method is not yet reliable.  Therefore use a condom during the first week to prevent pregnancy.
  • If afterwards you use the ring correctly, you are always protected against pregnancy, also during the gap week.
  • As long as the ring is inserted or replaced up to a maximum of 3 hours after the exact time, the ring is reliable.  
  • If you insert or replace the ring more than 3 hours after the exact time, the contraceptive is no longer reliable.
  • If you want to become pregnant, you can just stop with the ring.  Normally you are immediately fertile again.


What do you notice of the vaginal ring?

  • The ring can irritate the lining of the vagina and cause discharge.  
  • Other possible side effects are like the side effects of the pill: headache, mood changes, nausea and some weight gain by retaining fluid.
  • It is also possible that you have some bleeding between periods.
  • Sometimes you or your sex partner can feel the ring when having sex.  This may be an unpleasant feeling.

 

What are the risks of the vaginal ring?

  • Because it is quite a recent form of contraception, safety and long-term side effects are not yet known. 
  • Always discuss your medical history with your doctor.  
  • He can judge whether this is a suitable form of contraception for you.  
  • It is better not to smoke.

 

Sickness and medication

  • If your doctor wants to prescribe other medicines, tell him that you use a vaginal ring.  
  • Some medicines and medicinal herbs may reduce the effectiveness of the ring.
  • You can use tampons together with the ring.  
  • Products to treat a fungal infection have no influence on the ring, either.


 Postpone your period?

  • When you want to postpone your period, you remove the ring as usual after the third week.  But now you immediately insert the new ring and you skip the gap week with the monthly bleeding.  You may repeat this a few times (insert a new ring immediately after three weeks).  
  • The longer you postpone your period, the greater the risk of having some bleeding between periods.

 

The leaflet.