Birth control : the vaginal ring or cap

If you don't want to avoid becoming pregnant, you can take a contraceptive in addition to using a condom.

Violett's doctors and health professionals can give you more information about the different birth control methods and you decide which of these suits you best.

You can contact us if you want:

  • Information about contraceptives.
  • A prescription for contraceptives.
  • An IUD (intra-uterine device) inserted.
  • A contraceptive injection.
  • Get the emergency (morning-after) pill.

The vaginal ring or cap

What is it?
  • The vaginal ring is a flexible plastic ring with a diameter of 5 cm that you insert in your vagina to prevent pregnancy.
  • The ring releases two types of female hormones into your bloodstream to prevent ovulation.
  • If used correctly, the vaginal ring is a reliable contraceptive method.
How does it work?

You insert the ring yourself, like a tampon, into your vagina. You can do this standing up, squatting or lying down.

  1. Squeeze the ring together and insert it as deep as possible into your vagina until it feels comfortable. If placed correctly, you will hardly feel it’s there 
  2. Note the insertion date and time on your calendar (e.g. Wednesday at 10 p.m.). You must remove the ring 3 weeks later, on the same day of the week and at about the same time (in our example: Wednesday at 10 p.m.). This is important because 3 weeks later you must remove the ring on the same day and at the same time.
  3. After a 7-day ring-free break, you insert a new ring on the same day and at the same time (in our example, Wednesday at 10 p.m.).

Do you keep your vaginal rings in the fridge? Always check the expiry date and make sure the rings are still in date. Never use a ring that is past the ‘use-by’ date on the packaging.

How soon am I protected?
  • The first ring must be inserted between the 1st and 5th day of your period. It is not immediately effective.
  • Use additional contraception for the first 7 days to prevent pregnancy.
  • After that you are fully protected from pregnancy, even during the ring-free week, provided you use the ring correctly.
  • If the ring is inserted or changed within 3 hours of the scheduled time, you are protected from pregnancy.
  • If the ring has been out of the vagina for more than 3 hours or was not changed within 3 hours of the scheduled time, it is no longer reliable.
  • Just stop the ring if you want to become pregnant again. Ovulation will restart almost immediately after the ring is removed.
Possible side effects
  • The ring can irritate the lining of the vagina and cause vaginal discharge.
  • Other possible side effects: headaches, mood swings, nausea and weight gain because of water retention.
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods.
  • You or your sex partner may feel the ring during sex. This can feel unpleasant.
Delaying my periods
  • If you want to delay your period, remove the ring as usual after the third week. You skip the ring-free week and insert a new ring immediately.
  • You can repeat this a few times. However, the longer you postpone your period, the greater the likelihood of interim bleeding.

Any problems with the vaginal ring? Don't you know what to do?

You find more information below.

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